Global pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay federal and state governments $1.6 billion in criminal
and civil fines for illegally promoting unapproved uses of its drug Depakote, including to sedate elderly patients in nursing
homes, officials announced Monday.
The settlement, which includes an agreement to plead guilty to a criminal misdemeanor, is the second-largest in a string
of multimillion-dollar payouts in recent years resulting from stepped-up enforcement by the Justice Department and state
investigators against drugmakers that “misbrand” their products.
While doctors can — and frequently do — prescribe drugs for purposes beyond those approved as “safe and effective”
by the Food and Drug Administration, it is illegal for manufacturers to actively market their products for such off-label use.
“Not only did Abbott engage in off-label promotion, but it targeted elderly dementia patients and down-played the risks
apparent from its own clinical studies,” Tony West, acting associate attorney general, said in a statement.
In 2009, Pfizer paid the largest settlement to date in such a case — $2.3 billion in connection with its marketing of drugs
that included the painkiller Bextra. Last year, British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline announced that it expects to reach a bigger
settlement this year related to its development and promotion of the diabetes drug Avandia, among others.
As part of the settlement, Abbott admitted that beginning in 1998 it trained a special sales force to promote Depakote to
nursing-home employees as a way to control the agitation and aggression that can occur in elderly patients suffering from
In 1999, Abbott was forced to discontinue a clinical trial testing Depakote’s effectiveness against dementia when it
became evident that the drug increased the incidence of drowsiness, dehydration and anorexia in elderly study participants. Yet
the sales team continued to push the drug to nursing homes through 2006.
In its marketing, Abbott highlighted the fact that Depakote was not covered by a 1987 law designed to prevent the use of
unnecessary medications by nursing homes. So if nursing homes used it in place of other options, they could avoid the
administrative costs and burdens of complying with that law. 【題組】43. Which word in the passage is synonymous with “off-label use” in paragraph 3?
(A) pharmaceutical (B) misbrand (C) dementia (D) misdemeanor
(I) Fast-food is such a pervasive part of American life that it has become (1) ____ with American culture. Fast-food was
born in America and it has now swollen into a $106-billion industry. America exports fast-food worldwide and its
attendant corporate culture, has probably been more influential and done more to destroy local food economies and
cultural diversity than any government propaganda programme could hope to accomplish. No corner of the earth is safe
from its presence and no aspect of life is (2) ____. Fast food is now found in shopping malls, airports, hospitals, gas
stations, stadiums, on trains, and (3) ____, in schools. There are 23,000 restaurants in one chain alone, and another 2,000
are being opened every year. Its effect has been the same on the millions of people it feeds daily and on the people it
employs. Fast-food culture has changed how we work, from its assembly-line kitchens filled with robotic frying machines
(4) ____the trite phrases spoken to customers by its poorly paid part-time workforce. In the United States, more than 57
percent of the population eats meals away from home on any given day and they spend more money on fast-food than
they do on higher education, personal computers, or (5) ____on new cars. 【題組】
1. (A) ideal (B) synonymous (C) related (D) representative
( B ) Thomas Watson Jr. told Wharton students in 1973 that good design is good business. The
idea seemed quixotic, silly even. To many people, design still meant the 21 polish of nicer
homes and cleaner graphics. But Watson had earned the right to his belief. The recently retired
IBM CEO was a business oracle, 22 the company tenfold during his tenure by transforming
its signature product line. Once 23 the grime of cogs and springs, Big Blue had become
the face of a new computer age. Watson had always been a pioneering advocate for design. In
1953, he recruited Eliot Noyes to reinvent the street-level showroom at IBM’s Manhattan
headquarters. And as IBM transformed, it became 24 with the rise of modernism.
Innovation today is 25 linked with design--- and design has been a decisive advantage in
countless industries, not to mention crucial tool to 26 commoditization. The easiest is
that design allows us to 27 customer’s lust--- and demand higher prices as a result. So
why change? Because good design is very profitable.
【題組】24. (A) detrimental (B) feasible (C) effusive (D) synonymous