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[ATG] Drugmaker to pay $1.1M to Indiana over promotion of Zyvox, Lyrica
Start Date: 12/12/2012 All Day
End Date: 12/12/2012
Entry Description
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana is set to receive $1.1 million as a result of a multi-state settlement Attorney General Greg Zoeller entered into with drugmaker Pfizer Inc.

The monies stem from a $42.9 million settlement Zoeller joined with 32 other attorneys general and Pfizer today to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully promoted its drugs, Zyvox and Lyrica.

Zoeller said pharmaceutical companies can only promote a drug for the uses approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but doctors are free to prescribe the drug for other uses. According to the complaint, Pfizer promoted Lyrica for off-label uses and used misleading and unsubstantiated superiority claims regarding Zyvox.

“Off-label marketing can put patients unnecessarily at risk. Pharmaceutical companies are required to only promote a prescription drug for uses that have been approved by the FDA,” Zoeller said.

As part of the settlement, Pfizer agreed to reform how it markets its drugs and promotes Zyvox and Lyrica including:

  • Refrain from making any false, misleading, or deceptive claims when comparing the efficacy or safety of Zyvox to vancomycin;
  • Cease promoting any Pfizer product for off-label uses;
  • No longer design financial incentives that may reward and motivate its marketing personnel to engage in the improper marketing of Zyvox or Lyrica; and
  • Notify its sales force promptly of any warning letter received from the FDA that affects sales representatives in the promotion of Pfizer products.

Zoeller said the complaint and consent judgment were filed in Marion County today.

Other states participating in the settlement are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In 2009, the federal government, Indiana and other states reached an agreement with Pfizer to settle allegations of kickback payments and illegal off-marketing campaigns that had improperly promoted drugs Pfizer manufactures. Pfizer agreed to pay state and federal governments a total $1 billion in civil damages as compensation to Medicaid, Medicare and other federal healthcare programs harmed by the company’s conduct. Under the settlement, the total obtained for the Indiana Medicaid program -- including both the federal and state share -- was more than $9.5 million in restitution and other recovery. Of that, the state’s share of the multi-state settlement was more than $3.6 million.

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: Erin.Reece@atg.in.gov
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Attachments For This Entry:
    > Complaint
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Goverment
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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