Mylan settles deceptive ad charges involving EpiPen

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Mylan Inc.'s Mylan Specialty unit agreed to pay a total of $500,000 to two states to settle allegations that the Cecil-based generic drug giant ran deceptive television commercials for EpiPen auto-injectors.

EpiPen, made by Pfizer Inc., contains a dose of epinephrine for emergency treatment of allergic reactions.

Mylan markets and distributes the injector under a license agreement.

Pfizer agreed to pay $1.4 million in the two cases.

"While EpiPen is an important medication that can provide emergency assistance for severe allergic reactions, these advertisements put consumers at risk by giving an overall misleading impression that the product alone removes the need to take precautionary measures," said Attorney General Martha Coakley of Massachusetts, which will receive $250,000 from Mylan.

Mylan also agreed to submit any new ad campaigns for EpiPen to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for review before airing them.

The commercials, which ran in April 2012, were pulled by the two companies after an outcry from parents and allergy advocacy groups, the Massachusetts attorney general's office said.

"Mylan was extremely irresponsible to suggest to parents that EpiPen is a substitute for vigilantly avoiding their children's allergens," said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum of Oregon, which also will get $250,000.

Mylan denied any wrongdoing, the Oregon attorney general's office said.

Mylan did not respond to an email Friday seeking comment.

New York City-based Pfizer, which received a warning letter about the ad campaign from the FDA, agreed to pay $375,000 to Massachusetts to settle the deceptive ad charges. Last year, it agreed to pay Oregon $1 million.

Patricia Sabatini: psabatini@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3066.


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