24 янв. 2012 г.

Stryker Biotech reps get off clean in off-label marketing suit

Federal prosecutors drop all charges against the 2 remaining Stryker Biotech sales reps after the company pleaded guilty to charges of off-label marketing and agreed to pay a $15 million fine.

Federal prosecutors dropped all charges against the 2 remaining Stryker Biotech sales managers charged with illegal off-label promotion and of lying to the FDA.

Judge George O'Toole Jr. of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts agreed to drop all criminal charges against Jeff Whitaker and William Heppner in a lawsuit charging Stryker Corp. (NYSE:SYK) subsidiary Stryker Biotech with illegally promoting off-label uses of its OP1 bone-growth products.

Whitaker and Heppner were cleared on grounds that Stryker Biotech had already pleaded guilty to off-label marketing and had paid its $15 million criminal fine, court documents show.

Fellow sales rep David Ard was cleared of all charges earlier this week, after the feds moved to dismiss the case against him.

No word yet on the charges against Stryker Biotech president Mark Philip, whose request to sever charges against him was granted by O'Toole earlier this month.

A grand jury indicted the quartet and the company on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy in 2009. Stryker and Philip were also charged with making false statements to the FDA.

The indictment alleged that the defendants were part of a scheme to promote the combined use of a pair of separate bone-healing products, each granted a narrow, provisional "humanitarian device exemption" by the FDA.

This week Stryker pled guilty to a single single misdemeanor charge and agreed to pay $15 million to settle the case. The company paid the fine yesterday, court documents show

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