Forest labs to pay $313M

Forest Laboratories IncThe Justice Department on Wednesday announced that $313 million to settle criminal and civil charges that it improperly marketed antidepressants for use in children and distributed an unapproved thyroid drug will be paid by Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX).

The settlement with the department was earlier announced by the New York-based drug maker and said that by a reserve it had created the full cost of the pact would be covered in July.

According to the department, a Forest Labs subsidiary, Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc., distributed a thyroid drug called Levothroid and when they did so it was not approved and due to this Forest would plead guilty to a felony charge of obstruction of justice, and misdemeanor charges.

Apart from this, for treating adolescents and children, the illegal promotion of the antidepressant Celexa was done.

Another thing that Forest did was promoting Lexapro for pediatric use despite it being unapproved by the FDA.

Doctors and consumers were misled by Forest about Celexa whereas a study stated that it was ineffective for pediatric use.

To encourage doctors to prescribe the antidepressants, the civil case included other allegations that Forest paid kickbacks.

Carmen Ortiz, the U. S. Attorney for Massachusetts, said, "Forest Pharmaceuticals deliberately chose to pursue corporate profits over its obligations to the FDA and the American public."