Federal grand jury investigates Biovail over Cardizem LA

February 01, 2008

Toronto, ON - Biovail, the Canadian manufacturer of a long-acting calcium-channel blocker product, Cardizem LA (diltiazem), has announced that it is being investigated by the US Attorney's office in Boston over its marketing of the product [1].

The probe relates to commercial activities surrounding the 2003 launch of Cardizem LA, in particular a program entitled PLACE (Proving LA Through Clinical Experience).

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal at that time, Biovail paid American physicians as much as $1000 to prescribe the product to new patients and office managers up to $150; the company stated that the program was designed to create a physician survey that would be published.

Biovail said today that the investigation began in 2003 as an administrative inquiry, and it has "cooperated fully . . . and will continue to cooperate." The company added that it has been invited to provide evidence and arguments bearing on the matter to the US Attorney's office "and intends to do so as soon as practicable." No further comment was issued.

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