Former Biogen sales rep wins $6M in retaliation suit

A federal jury in Seattle awarded a former Biogen sales representative nearly $6 million after she claimed the drugmaker fired her for refusing to pursue off-label marketing, according to STAT.

Danita Erickson filed a retaliation lawsuit against the drugmaker in July 2018, claiming she was pressured to ensure a multiple sclerosis drug, Zinbryta, was prescribed by a hematologist to a patient with aplastic anemia, which was not an FDA-approved use.

Ms. Erickson didn't want to pursue off-label marketing because Zinbryta had a black box warning on the product labeling, which is reserved for drugs with the most severe and potentially life-threatening side effects, the lawsuit noted.

Zinbryta was withdrawn from the U.S. market in March 2018, just before Ms. Erickson was fired, due to several reports of brain inflammation.

She filed a formal ethics complaint with the company at the end of 2017 and was fired in April 2018, after she suffered months of retaliation for filing the complaint, according to STAT.

The jury awarded her $390,500 in past economic damages, more than $2.1 million in future economic damages, $1.69 million in non-economic damages and $1.69 million in punitive damages.

Read the full article here.

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