U.S. officials have sent a letter to Forest Laboratories chief executive Howard Solomon threatening him with a ban from participating in Medicare and Medicaid, according to Pharma Times.
Solomon, who is also Forest's chairman and president, will challenge any action by the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG) that would potentially exclude him from participation in federal healthcare programs. The letter from HHS-OIG relates to a settlement from September 2010 which noted the company’s guilty plea to claims of illegal marketing of the antidepressants Celexa (citalopram) and Lexapro (escitalopram) and an unapproved formulation of the thyroid treatment Levothroid (levothyroxine).
As a result Forest paid $313 million plus interest following the incident. It also signed a corporate integrity agreement (CIA) with HHS-OIG which has now given Solomon 30 days to say why he should not be excluded.