Abbott Files Suit Against Watson for Ad Campaign


Abbott Laboratories said it filed suit against rival thyroid drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. asking a federal court to halt Watson's advertising activities regarding Abbott's thyroid drug Synthroid.

The suit also asks the court to order Corona-based Watson to run an advertising campaign to correct what Abbott called "misinformation" that it communicated to the medical community regarding the popular thyroid drug.

Watson general counsel Rob Funsten said he could not comment on the specific allegations in the complaint, but said they "are completely without merit."

Synthroid, the No. 3 most-prescribed medicine in the U.S., has come under fire by the Food and Drug Administration, which earlier this month ordered Abbott to seek approval for the drug. Synthroid, known generically as levothyroxine sodium, has been used for more than 40 years in replacement therapy for patients with low natural levels of thyroid hormones.

Abbott said it will submit a new drug application for Synthroid to meet the FDA's filing requirements.

Abbott insists that Synthroid is safe and effective.

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