New Jersey will receive $2.7 million as part of a global settlement with an Alabama pharmaceutical company for allegedly mislabeling its multivitamin tablets to indicate the products had more fluoride than they actually did, state officials said Tuesday.
Qualitest Pharmaceuticals will pay 47 participating states, including New Jersey, and the federal government a total of $39 million to resolve allegations that it mislabeled multivitamin tablets that contained less than 50 percent of the fluoride represented on the label, said Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman in a statement.
The settlement followed a whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2013 by a Florida dentist that alleged Qualitest unlawfully represented its multivitamin tablets as containing levels of fluoride recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), when they did not. The suit alleged that Qualitest marketed, sold and distributed multivitamins that contained less than 50 percent of the fluoride represented on their labels between Oct. 1, 2007 and Aug. 31, 2013.
The ADA and American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended certain levels of fluoride in drinking water to prevent tooth decay, cavities and other related issues since 1994. The groups also recommend supplemental fluoride for children whose drinking water does not contain the suggested levels of fluoride.
The lawsuit alleged that the mislabeled multivitamins caused submission of false claims to state Medicaid programs.
“At the end of the day, this kind of alleged health product mislabeling – and the false insurance claims it generates – costs us all,” said Hoffman in a statement.
Qualitest, a maker or generic pharmaceutical products, is based in Huntsville, Ala. Its parent company, Endo Pharmaceuticals, is based in Dublin and its U.S. headquarters are in Malvern, Pa.
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