Louisiana Settles Depakote Fraud Case for $9.5 Million

According to the Washington Examiner, Depakote manufacturer Abbott Laboratories  has agreed to a $9.5 million settlement with  the state of Louisiana over allegations of Medicaid fraud.

The state filed a lawsuit in 2011 against Abbott, saying it mis-branded the anti-epileptic medication and promoted the drug to control agitation and aggression in elderly dementia patients without approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who abuse the system,” Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said, according to the Examiner. “This is a victory for Louisiana.”

Additionally, Abbott was accused of misbranding Depakote by marketing the drug to treat schizophrenia without FDA approval.

Is Depakote Safe?

Depacon, Depakote, Depakote CP, Depakote ER, Depakene and Stavzor are very powerful drugs that have been linked to health complications in children when taken by pregnant mothers.

The products have been linked to physical birth defects and cognitive problems like decreased IQ scores, autism, and Asperger syndrome in babies who were exposed to the drugs during pregnancy.

Additionally, Depakote has been linked to physical birth defects like spina bifida, atrial septal defect, cleft palate, hypospadias, extra fingers or toes, and craniosynostosis in children.