Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay North Carolina more than $4 million as part of a nationwide $800 million settlement stemming from its marketing of the drug Depakote.
Under the agreement announced Monday, the Illinois-based company agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for misbranding. It also agreed to pay a $700 million criminal penalty plus $100 million to settle allegation of improper marketing brought by more than 45 states, including North Carolina.
"Marketing drugs for off-label uses is misleading and can be dangerous," N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. "Drug makers have a responsibility to make sure their drugs do what they say they do."
North Carolina will receive $3.5 million that will go toward consumer protection efforts. Also, the state pension plan will get $391,532 and the state prison system will get $184,468 in reimbursement for drugs purchased.
Abbott also agreed to change how it markets Depakote, which is used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraines, and promised to halt promotion of off-label uses.
"We are pleased to resolve this matter and are confident we have the programs in place to satisfy the requirements of this settlement," Laura J. Schumacher, Abbot executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.