Lawsuit alleges Icy Hot, Salonpas patches are marketed deceptively

A Sorrento Therapeutics unit filed a lawsuit Feb. 23 alleging Sanofi deceptively marketed its Icy Hot pain patch by purporting it to be more effective than Sorrento's patch, Bloomberg reported.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco alleges that Icy Hot advertisements, which often feature former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal, misleadingly say the product offers the maximum amount of lidocaine available in patch form. 

The court filing contends that while Sorrento's ZTlido patch has only been approved by the FDA to treat pain related to shingles infections, it still offers the highest lidocaine dosage available in a patch. Sorrento officials said that physicians often prescribe the patch to treat back and spinal pain, as physicians are allowed to prescribe drugs for uses other than those approved by the FDA if they believe the patient will benefit from the treatment.

The lawsuit also accused Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co. of saying its SalonPas pain patch offered more lidocaine, according to Bloomberg.

Sorrento's lawsuit seeks to prohibit Sanofi and Hisamitsu from making these claims, as well as order them to run corrective advertisements and pay damages, Bloomberg reported.

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