Woodcliff Lake-Based Par Pharmaceutical Cos. Now Faces $45 Million In Fines

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) –– A New Jersey-based generic drug maker has agreed to pay $45 million to resolve criminal and civil liability charges for improperly marketing its weight-gain drug to frail seniors.

Officials from Woodcliff Lake-based Par Pharmaceutical Cos. pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal misbranding Tuesday in federal court in Newark.

“Par designed and implemented. A marketing strategy to promote Megace ES not to AIDS patients, but instead to geriatric patients with wasting disorders,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

Par officials admitted they improperly marketed the drug, which was approved for helping AIDS patients gain weight.

“Par told nursing homes that Megace ES worked faster and was more effective than other products. Par had no adequate clinical support for that claim,” Fishman said.

The company has also agreed to enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with federal health officials and to drop a lawsuit it filed against the U.S. government.

Par agreed in July to be acquired by an affiliate of the private investment firm TPG for $1.84 billion.

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