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Prostate cancer medication can be a touchy subject � particularly for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP. On June 20 it agreed to pay close to $355 million to end a six-year investigation into the company’s corrupt sales practices. The U.S. subsidiary of London-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca PLC pled guilty to one criminal charge. It admitted that its sales representatives had been giving physicians free samples of the prostate drug Zoladex, knowing those doctors would then bill Medicaid for reimbursement for the handouts. The Zoladex saga began with Douglas Durand, a national vice president of sales at Lake Forest, Illinois�based TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. He had become leery of the sales tactics he observed at TAP � which has its own prostrate cancer drug, Lupron � and competitor Zeneca Inc., as it was then known. (The company was a subsidiary of Zeneca Group PLC, which merged with Astra AB in 1999 to create AstraZeneca). In 1996 Durand filed a whistle-blower suit against both TAP and Zeneca. TAP settled with Durand and the U.S. government in 2001 for $875 million. Durand received $77 million from the TAP settlement and $47 million from the AstraZeneca settlement. In accordance with its settlement agreement, AstraZeneca will provide periodic reports to the Office of Inspector General. The company also hopes to convince the several states investigating its sales practices to sign on to the settlement with the federal government. For plaintiff U.S. government (Washington, D.C.) U.S. attorney’s office, District of Delaware (Wilmington): Criminal: assistant U.S. attorney Beth Moskow-Schnoll. U.S. attorney’s office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia): Civil: assistant U.S. attorney Virginia Gibson. For plaintiff Douglas Durand Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis (Philadelphia): Elizabeth Ainslie. Durand first contacted Ainslie in 1996 for her expertise in white-collar criminal matters. For defendant AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP (Wilmington) In-house: Vice president, general counsel, and secretary Glenn Engelmann and senior litigation counsel Stuart Fullerton. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Philadelphia): John Dodds, Kathleen Sanzo, and associates Troy Brown and Jennifer Jordan. (Sanzo is located in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.) AstraZeneca is a longtime client of the firm.

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