Upjohn will pay $650,000 to New York and seven other states to reimburse them for an investigation of a controversial marketing program.
The Kalamazoo, Mich.-based company paid pharmacists $8 each time they persuaded physicians to switch patients from one Upjohn diabetes drug to another. Although both drugs are priced similarly, one has several lower-priced generic competitors.
The company discontinued the practice last March.
Several other companies have similar programs, which are becoming increasingly controversial. Critics argue that pharmacists are acting as salespeople for drug companies under the guise of disinterest.
Upjohn and other companies, however, argue that they're paying pharmacists to educate physicians and patients.