MN Gets Piece of $68.5M Pharmaceutical Settlement

Minnesota will split a $68.5 million settlement from pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals with 36 other states and Washington, D.C.

The state of Minnesota will get a yet-to-be-determined portion of a $68.5 million settlement that was reached with pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

The settlement, which was filed last week in California along with the complaint, was reached to resolve claims made against AstraZeneca in relation to its marketing of antipsychotic drug Seroquel.

Seroquel received approval in 1997 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.

According to the complaint, AstraZeneca promoted and marketed the drug for the treatment of conditions and to patient populations that were not included among those approved by the FDA-including for the treatment of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and post traumatic stress disorder, and to child and geriatric patients.

The complaint also alleges that AstraZeneca failed to disclose dangerous side effects of the drug, including weight gain, hyperglycemia, diabetes, and cardiovascular complications.

As part of the $68.5 million settlement-which is reportedly the largest multi-state settlement with a pharmaceutical company on record-AstraZeneca did not admit to any fault or wrongdoing.

“While we deny the allegations, AstraZeneca believes it is important to bring these matters to a close and move forward with our business of providing medicines to patients,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

According to AstraZeneca, each state will receive a share of the settlement proceeds based on an agreement to be reached among all participating states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, D.C. will also get part of the settlement.

A Wednesday afternoon phone call to Attorney General Lori Swanson's office to find out how much money Minnesota will get from the settlement was not immediately returned.