WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS ABBOTT LABS FALSELY MARKETED TRICOR CHOLESTEROL DRUG

A former Abbott labs saleswoman has filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit saying the company illegally promoted its cholesterol drug TriCor for uses not approved by regulators including for use preventing cardiac health risks with patients with diabetes. That sales person Amy Bergman said that she was trained, directed, incentivized and encouraged by Abbott to promote TriCor for off label medically unnecessary uses and the company also directed her to give kickbacks to doctors to encourage them to prescribe the drug. In doing so, she says the company defrauded Medicare and Medicaid. Drugmakers are barred from actively promoting drugs for uses not approved by the FDA. TriCor was approved by the FDA in 1998 to reduce amounts of fatty substances in the blood like cholesterol. It accounted for $987 million in sales in 2011. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.      jeffrey.newman1@gmail.com