Bristol-Myers Squibb to pay $19.5M for promoting off-label use of Abilify

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. will pay $19.5 million to settle allegations that the London-based drugmaker improperly marketed and promoted its anti-psychotic drug Abilify, reports Reuters.

The drugmaker allegedly marketed Abilify for off-label uses not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

While Abilify is primarily used to treat adults with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Mr. Schneiderman alleged Bristol-Myers Squibb promoted the medication for pediatric use and for use in elderly patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Forty-two states and the District of Columbia are involved in the settlement.

"Drug companies should not market their drug for off-label uses or make claims that are not supported by scientific evidence," said Mr. Schneiderman. "Consumers must be able to rely on their doctor's advice for medication without having to worry about drug companies manipulating their advertising to promote their products at the expense of patients."

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