News Summary: NJ drugmaker to pay $45M in fines

News Summary: NJ drugmaker Par Pharmaceutical admits improperly pushing AIDS drug on elderly

Associated Press

ADMITTING GUILT: Executives of drugmaker Par Pharmaceutical Cos. pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal misbranding, for years of improperly marketing its weight-gain drug for frail nursing home and hospice patients vulnerable to its potentially deadly side effects. The drug, Megace ES, is approved only for AIDS patients.

FINANCIAL PENALTY: The Woodcliff Lake, N.J., company will pay a total of $45 million to resolve criminal and civil charges in the case. It also agreed to increased government monitoring.

BACK STORY: The Justice Department started investigating after four whistleblowers went to attorneys with allegations about misconduct by Par's sales force for the drug.

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