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TAP Pharmaceutical Employee Guilty

August 13, 2002

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BOSTON (AP) _ A former sales representative for TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating federal law regulating distribution of free drug samples to doctors.

Federal laws forbid employees of pharmaceutical companies from distributing a drug sample to a physician unless the physician makes a written request for the drug.

Prosecutors assert that Jennifer Krebsbach, 37, of West Hartford, Conn. _ at the instruction of her district manager and other TAP employees _ provided samples of TAP’s prostate cancer drug Lupron to Dr. Jacob Zamstein, of Bloomfield, Conn., without requiring him to fill out and sign a written request.

If convicted on the misdemeanor charge, Krebsbach faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. She is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 6.

Zamstein pleaded guilty of conspiring to bill insurance companies for free samples of Lupron he had received from TAP. He faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced on Sept. 30.

Three other doctors have been convicted on similar charges.

In October, TAP agreed to pay $875 million to settle charges it inflated prices and bribed doctors to prescribe Lupron. TAP was accused of filing false claims with the Medicare and Medicaid programs and failing to provide state Medicaid programs with its best prices for Lupron as required by law. Six TAP managers were charged with conspiracy to pay kickbacks to doctors and other customers.

Another former TAP sales manager has also been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice.

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