Johnson & Johnson may face charges over marketing of heart drug: Report

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) seeks to differentiate itself from other pharmaceutical companies by diversifying into consumer health products such as Splenda sweetener and Listerine mouthwash. But it still can't seem to avoid what's been plaguing pharmas across the board: legal troubles over what government investigators believe may be questionable marketing practices.

The problem involves allegations that a J&J unit called Scios marketed the heart drug Natrecor for "off label" uses, or for treatment of conditions for which federal regulators have not yet approved the drug. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Natrecor in 2001 for patients experiencing acute heart failure. But according to Law.com, the government could be ready to pursue charges that Scios also marketed the drug for chronic heart problems, for which it didn't have FDA approval.