AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $110 million to the state of Texas to settle lawsuits relating to the drugs Seroquel and Crestor.
The state had initially sought $5 billion under the lawsuits, claiming the company had falsely and misleadingly marketed the two drugs.
The larger settlement of $90 relates to allegations that the company encouraged unapproved uses of antipsychotic Seroquel. The Texas Attorney General alleged that the company gave false information to Texas Medicaid providers regarding Seroquel’s efficacy for uses not approved by the FDA, misrepresented the drug’s potent nature and side effects, illegally promoted its use by children under the age of 18, and improperly influenced and exploited Texas state officials to facilitate the fraud.
Meanwhile, the smaller $20 million settlement covers allegations it misrepresented the benefits of anti-cholesterol drug Crestor, illegally promising it for treating atherosclerosis, and making unsubstantiated claims regarding its efficacy and safety.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the alleged actions were "especially disturbing because the well-being of children and the integrity of the state hospital system were jeopardised".
The company has denied any wrongdoing, saying in a statement that it "makes no concessions or admissions of fault in the settlement agreements".
“While we deny the allegations, it is in the best interests of the company to resolve these matters and to move forward with our business of discovering and developing important, life-changing medicines – while avoiding the delay, uncertainty, and expense of protracted litigation."