(Adds Allergan comment, background on lawsuit)
By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 2 A U.S. appeals court on
Tuesday revived a 2010 shareholder lawsuit against Allergan Inc
over allegations the company improperly marketed and
labeled the cosmetic drug Botox.
The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
San Francisco, said plaintiff shareholders had alleged enough
specific facts to proceed.
Allergan, which paid a $375 million criminal fine after
being accused of marketing Botox for off-label uses, said the
allegations in the shareholder derivative lawsuit have not been
proved and the company is confident it will be vindicated.
The lawsuit, filed in 2010, alleged that Allergan's board
authorized plans to promote Botox for off-label conditions like
headaches and migraines despite knowing the limits of federal
drug marketing rules.
A lower court judge in Santa Ana, California dismissed it,
saying the shareholders had not followed proper procedure by
first requesting that Allergan's board file legal claims in the
company's own name.
The 9th Circuit on Tuesday disagreed, saying the
shareholders alleged enough specifics to raise doubts as to
whether the board faces liability, and as a result do not have
to approach the board before heading to court.
The case in the 9th Circuit is Rosenbloom vs. Pyott,
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul