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Elan subsidiary pleads guilty to improper marketing of epilepsy drug.

The AP (3/1) reported, "A US subsidiary of Irish drugmaker Elan Corp. PLC has pleaded guilty" in federal court in Boston "to misdemeanor violation of the federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act over the improper marketing of the epilepsy drug Zonegran (zonisamide). Monday's plea finalized a deal announced last July under which Elan agreed to pay $203.5 million to resolve all federal and state Medicaid claims into the marketing of Zonegran."

        According to Bloomberg News (3/1, Voreacos), after the Food and Drug Administration "approved Zonegran in 2000 for treatment of epileptic seizures in adults over age 16," Elan promoted the drug for other uses including "mood stabilization, bipolar disorder, migraine headaches, weight loss and seizures in children," prosecutors alleged. In a statement, US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said, "Today's plea and sentencing should serve as a reminder to any company engaging in off-label marketing schemes that the government is continuing to aggressively investigate and prosecute companies."

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