A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Bracco Diagnostics (Princeton, New Jersey) reported that the U.S. District Court in Trenton, New Jersey has ruled in favor of Bracco and against GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin). The ruling validates Bracco's position that GE Healthcare and its predecessor companies, including Amersham, engaged in a false and misleading advertising and promotional campaign in an attempt to make false claims that its X-ray contrast agent Visipaque was superior to Bracco's market-leading X-ray contrast agent Isovue.

Bracco said in its ruling, the Court found GE Healthcare liable for disseminating false messages in its advertising of Visipaque. The litigation is primarily related to a clinical study that was published in 2003 by the New England Journal of Medicine (the NEPHRIC study) comparing two GE Healthcare products: Visipaque and Omnipaque.

While the study only compared these two GE Healthcare products, GE Healthcare misrepresented the study in an attempt to claim that Visipaque was safer than other products that were not included in the study, including Bracco's Isovue. In addition, independent studies, Bracco studies, and GE Healthcare's own clinical research demonstrated the inappropriateness of GE Healthcare's false claims.

As a result of GE Healthcare's misconduct, the court permanently enjoined GE Healthcare from making further false claims and ordered them to implement a number of corrective actions, including a press release and advertisements, to ensure that healthcare providers are correctly informed about the false claims. The court also ordered GE Healthcare to pay Bracco $11.4 million in damages.

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