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The U.S. Justice Department says a subsidiary of Bristol, Tenn.-based King Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to pay $42.5 million to settle allegations over the marketing of a painkiller.

Prosecutors announced the settlement on Tuesday with Alpharma Inc., which was bought by King in 2008, in a whistleblower lawsuit.

The lawsuit claimed Alpharma paid health care providers to induce them to promote or prescribe the morphine-based painkiller Kadian and made misrepresentations about the safety and efficacy of the drug.

The settlement will be split between the federal government and various states and was a collaboration between the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland.

A message left for a spokesman for King was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

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