U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez’s campaign is pushing a series of new web ads publicizing less-than-favorable news about opponent Bob Hugin’s time at the pharmaceutical giant Celgene.
The four web spots, which each run roughly 30 seconds, focus on different aspects of a federal suit brought against the company during Hugin’s tenure as CEO by the U.S. Department of Justice, the District of Columbia and 28 of the country’s states, including New Jersey.
The suit accused the company of marketing two of its most sought-after drugs for off-label uses and paying kickbacks to doctors in order to boost the sale of those two drugs.
The suit was eventually settled for $280 million and the accompanying records were sealed. Such settlements often include confidentiality agreements and typically do not involve admissions of fault.
“You don’t spend $280 million if you did nothing wrong. You don’t push to have the record sealed if you had nothing to hide,” said Menendez Campaign Communications Director Steve Sandberg. “What did Bob Hugin say while under oath that spooked Celgene’s lawyers into settling? It’s time Bob Hugin answer for what he did—preying on the sick and suffering—while the head of Celgene.”