Schering-Plough Agrees to $435 Million Settlement

Schering-Plough Corp. (SGP) said Tuesday it will pay $435 million and plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to make false statements to the government to settle an investigation into its sales, marketing and clinical trial practices and programs.

Under the agreement, the U.S. drug maker said it will pay a criminal fine of $180 million and an additional $255 million to resolve civil aspects of the probe, which was being conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.

The company's previously disclosed litigation reserves will be sufficient to cover the settlement amount, Kenilworth, New Jersey-based Schering-Plough said.

The company said in a news release that the issues being resolved by the settlement predated the current management team.

"With this agreement, we are putting issues from the past behind us," Brent Saunders, senior vice president for global compliance and business practices, said in a statement.

In connection with the settlement, Schering-Plough said it will sign an addendum to an existing corporate integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The company said it will not affect its ongoing business with any customers, including the federal government.

Schering-Plough shares edged up 6 cents to $20.47 on the New York Stock Exchange.