New York Times, July 25, 2017
Katie Thomas

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The pharmaceutical company Celgene has agreed to pay $280 million to settle claims that it marketed the cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for unapproved uses, the company said on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the settlement, which resulted from a lawsuit filed by a whistle-blower — a former sales representative at Celgene — the company will pay $259.3 million to the United States and $20.7 million to 28 states and the District of Columbia.

The Celgene settlement is the latest in a string of multimillion-dollar finesthat pharmaceutical companies have paid to settle charges that they inappropriately marketed certain drugs in recent years, but this case is one of the largest settlements to involve a cancer drug, said Reuben A. Guttman, who represented the whistle-blower, Beverly Brown.

Cancer drugs are seen as more difficult to pursue in so-called off-label marketing cases in part because oncologists often prescribe drugs for unapproved uses in an effort to combat a deadly and still mysterious disease. [...]

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