Botox-maker to pay $600m settlement for ‘misleading’ promotion

Settlement follows a US federal investigation.

Allergan, the maker of ageing-treatment Botox, will pay $600m in settlement following a US federal investigation into the product's marketing from 2001 to 2008.

The company allegedly paid kickbacks to medical professionals to use and endorse Botox - a drug which works by paralyzing muscles that cause wrinkles and spasms - for off-label purposes.

According to a statement by the US Justice Department released on Wednesday, Allergan will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of "misbranding," where its marketing promotion led doctors to prescribe Botox for unapproved uses such as headache, pain treatment and cerebral palsy in children.

The California based company will pay $375m in conjunction with its plea and $225m in civil fines.

Allergan has also entered into an agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General, where it will submit compliance reports and make public on its website, payments made to doctors in honoria or travel and lodging allowances.

The company's share price went up by 2.4 per cent after the announcement was made.