A recent decision by a New Jersey federal court sets a tough standard for plaintiffs trying to piggyback on government investigations of off-label drug marketing. In dismissing a lawsuit against Schering-Plough Corp., federal district court Judge Stanley Chesler ruled that even if the company has violated off-label marketing rules — as it seems to have done for two cancer drugs — plaintiffs must prove that the drug was marketed for an ineffective use, and the patient received no benefit from it.

Gavin Rooney of Lowenstein Sandler represented Schering-Plough, along with Joan McPhee of Ropes & Gray. The plaintiffs were represented by John Keefe Jr. of Keefe Bartels in Shrewsbury, N.J., and Jay Eisenhofer of Grant & Eisenhofer.

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