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Novartis to Plead Guilty to Criminal Fraud Charges

The swiss drug manufacturer said it will plead guilty to criminal fraud charges arising out of its alleged off-label marketing of its epilepsy drug, Trileptal.  In addition, Novartis will pay a $185 million dollar fine.

Novartis is also being investigated for kick backs and off-label marketing of other drugs, such as Diovan, Exforge, Sandostatin, Tekturna and Zelnorm.  Novartis has reportedly increased its litigation budget by almost $ 80 million.

Off-label marketing is the promotion of a drug for a purpose other than approved by the FDA.