Pfizer Fined | September 7, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 36 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 36 | p. 40 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 7, 2009

Pfizer Fined

Pharmaceutical giant and its subsidiary will pay $2.3 billion for illegal promotion of drugs
Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: liability, settlement

Pfizer and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn have agreed to hand over $2.3 billion as part of a settlement involving the largest health care fraud in the history of the Justice Department. The pharmaceutical giant will pay a criminal fine of $1.2 billion—the biggest in U.S. history—for promoting the sale of the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra for several uses and dosages that FDA declined to approve because of safety concerns.

Pharmacia & Upjohn will pay $105 million to resolve the criminal charges. The remaining $1 billion of the settlement will be paid by Pfizer to resolve civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of four drugs that caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs.

The civil settlement also resolves allegations that the drugmaker paid kickbacks to health care providers to prescribe these and other drugs. Pfizer has agreed to work with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services to put in place procedures and reviews to avoid and promptly detect similar conduct in the future.

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