Par Pharmaceutical pays $45 million to settle whistleblower case for off label promotion of drug

Par Pharmaceutical Company has agreed to pay $45 million to settle claims that the company launched a long term care sales force to promote the drug MENGACE ES for FDA unapproved uses including weight loss in elderly patients. MENGACE ES was approved by the FDA in 2005 for the treatment of anorexia, cachexia or unexplained significant weight loss in patients with a diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The key whistleblower, Christine Thompson was a Regional Business Manager for the company and provided the government with executive level emails from Senior VP for Sales Rick Painter directing managers and sales force to aggressively promote the drug in long term care facilities. Weeks into her employment, Ms. Thompson discovered Par’s plan to promote the drug to an exclusively off label patient population-elderly residents of long term facilities. She voiced her concerns verbally and in writing to Par execs including its compliance officer. Only when her complaints were rebuffed did she blow the whistle. The drug poses risks to the elderly patient including deep vein thrombosis due to their sedentary lifestyle. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.