Tennessee will receive $1.95 million as part of a $100 million multistate agreement with Abbott Laboratories over allegations of illegal off-label marketing of its Depakote drug.
The state joins 44 other states and the District of Columbia in the settlement, which Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper and Department of Commerce and Insurance Consumer Affairs Director Gary Cordell announced today.
The agreement marks the largest consumer protection-based pharmaceutical agreement ever reached. The Illinois-based Abbott will be restricted from marketing the drug for off-label uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“We are pleased to announce the resolution of this investigation into the off-label promotion of this drug,” Cooper said in release. “We hope other companies will think twice before promoting drugs for uses that have not been approved.”
The State of Tennessee has settled a dispute with shuttered video distributor Hollywood Entertainment/Movie Gallery, in hopes the credit status of $3.3 million folks will be restored. Several states joined with Tennessee in suing the video distributor, which filed for bankruptcy February 2010. The allegations stemmed from improper third party debt-collection practices.
Bob Cooper, Tennessee's attorney general, made the announcement yesterday along with Gary Cordell, director of the Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Division of Consumer Affairs. The agreement gives immediate relief to customers who may have had problems with the now-defunct company. Coupled with the debt collection misstep, Hollywood Video wrongfully sent negative customer reports to credit bureaus across the country without giving those customers notice and a chance to explain. The credit rating damage to all 3.3 million customers was substantial.
To resolve this issue the company is now required to rescind all previously filed negative credit reports, and is prohibited from any similar reporting in the future.The mounting accrued interest on the debt Hollywood Video had been pursuing must cease. The company is further barred from receiving any collection fees.
"Many of the estimated 3.3 million customers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia said they never realized they had credit damage until they were denied credit or were given limited credit. It seems absurd that someone could have a harder time getting credit or worse credit terms because they turned in a rental movie two days late,” Attorney General Cooper said.
“In some cases, consumers were not aware of the late charges and were unable to dispute or try to correct the situation until it was too late."