OLYMPIA-- Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a $22.5 million settlement with Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. (“Par”). The states allege Par promoted sales of the drug Megace ES for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and not covered by the State Medicaid programs.
The civil settlement agreement requires Par to pay $22.5 million to the states and the federal government to resolve claims arising from its off-label marketing of Megace ES, a megestrol acetate drug product which was approved by the FDA to treat anorexia, cachexia, or other significant weight loss suffered by patients with AIDS.
The civil settlement resolves allegations that Par, by promoting the sale and use of Megace ES for other uses that were not FDA-approved and not covered by Medicaid, Medicare or other federal health care programs, caused false claims to be submitted to these programs. Except as admitted in Par’s plea agreement, the claims settled by the civil settlement agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability as to those claims.
This settlement is based on three qui tam cases that were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by private individuals who filed actions under state and federal false claims statutes. As part of the settlement, the state of Washington will receive $23,482.15 in restitution and other recovery.
Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, 360-586-0725