Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences News

Ninth Circuit Upholds Executive’s Wire Fraud
Conviction for Off-Label Drug Promotion

March 6, 2013, 5:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO—The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit March 4 upheld former pharmaceutical executive W. Scott Harkonen’s conviction and sentence for creating a news release that promoted off-label uses of the drug Actimmune (United States v. Harkonen, 9th Cir., 11-10209, 3/4/13).

The three-judge panel, in an unpublished ruling, affirmed Harkonen’s U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California sentencing on his wire fraud conviction for the release, finding evidence supported the verdict and Harkonen had the intent to defraud.

Harkonen is the first chief executive officer tried for off-label promotion. He argued that debates over...

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