Forest Pharmaceuticals has been ordered to pay a criminal fine of $150 million and forfeit assets of $14 million, resulting from their guilty plea last year.
In November of 2010, the drug company admitted to obstructing justice, distributing an unapproved new drug in interstate commerce, and distributing a misbranded drug in interstate commerce.
Additionally, Forest pleaded guilty to charges relating to obstruction of an FDA regulatory inspection, to the distribution of Levothroid – during a time which the drug was unapproved – and to the illegal promotion of the anti-depressant drug Celexa for use in treating children.
The most recent fines complete a global resolution totaling more than $313 million in penalties resulting from Forest and its parent company’s illegal marketing of the drugs Levothroid, Celexa and Lexapro.
Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, spoke on the necessity of penalizing companies such as Forest. “As the court’s stiff sentence demonstrates, not only is such conduct unacceptable, taxpayers should not foot the bill for practices that violate the law.”