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Abbott subsidiary reaches $41M settlement

WASHINGTON (AP) — A subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay more than $41 million to settle allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to get doctors, physician groups and managed care organizations to prescribe or recommend two of the company’s drugs, Advicor and Niaspan.

The Justice Department said Tuesday that Delaware-based Kos Pharmaceuticals also promoted the sale of Advicor for purposes not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Advicor is for the treatment of cholesterol. Niaspan improves cholesterol levels.

As part of the settlement, Kos agreed to the filing of a criminal information in Louisiana alleging the company conspired to pay kickbacks to two physicians to endorse Kos products including Advicor.

Under the agreement between Kos and the Justice Department, Kos entered into a deferred prosecution agreement that would enable the company to avoid criminal charges, based in part on Kos undertaking a thorough internal investigation and ongoing cooperation with the department’s investigation of the matter.

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