Bravo! Less money for drug research and more money for lawyers: Just what the world needs
"Swiss drugmaker Serono SA has agreed to pay $704 million to settle criminal and civil charges that it illegally promoted its AIDS drug, prosecutors said yesterday, in one of the biggest sums collected in the government's growing scrutiny of pharmaceutical firms. The company's Serono Labs unit of Rockland agreed to plead guilty to charges it conspired to market Serostim by supplying doctors diagnostic software that was not fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The software, prosecutors said, led to an increase in demand for the drug prescribed to treat wasting in AIDS patients. The company also agreed to plead guilty to offering doctors all-expense-paid trips to a medical conference in Cannes, France, in return for writing prescriptions of Serostim, an arrangement that US Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales blasted as 'The 'Cannes Kickback' campaign.'"