The U.S. Dept. of Justice has joined a whistleblower lawsuit alleging violations of the False Claims Act by Forest Laboratories.
The suit, which originated in complaints filed by two private citizens under the qui tam provisions of the Act, alleges that the company marketed antidepressants for unapproved pediatric uses and paid kickbacks to physicians.
The government accuses Forest of misleading doctors and consumers by failing to disclose that a medical study had determined that the drugs, Celexa and Lexapro, were ineffective for pediatric use. That study also found that the drugs could cause suicidal thoughts in children.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.