DENVER - Attorney General John Suthers announced today that he and 32 other Attorneys General reached a $42.9 million consent judgment with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) to resolve allegations that Pfizer unlawfully promoted its drugs, Zyvox® and Lyrica®. Under the settlement Colorado will receive more than $1.125 million for future consumer protection efforts.
“When it comes to something as important as people’s health, it is imperative that consumers receive accurate information,” said Suthers. “We cannot tolerate unsubstantiated claims about drug benefits.”
The Attorneys General allege that Pfizer engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in its promotion of Zyvox® by making misleading and unsubstantiated superiority claims that broadened the indications for Zyvox®, an antibacterial agent approved to treat certain types of infections, including among other approved indications, nosocomial pneumonia caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”) and complicated skin and skin structure infections due to MRSA. Moreover, the Attorneys General allege that Pfizer engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in promoting Lyrica® for off-label uses.
Pfizer agreed to reform how it markets and promotes Zyvox® and Lyrica®. Under the consent judgment, Pfizer shall not:
- make any false, misleading, or deceptive claims when comparing the efficacy or safety of Zyvox® to vancomycin;
- promote any Pfizer product for off-label uses;
- fail to design financial incentives that ensure that its marketing personnel are not motivated to engage in the improper marketing of Zyvox® or Lyrica®; or
- fail to notify its sales force promptly of any warning letter received from the FDA that affects sales representatives in the promotion of Pfizer products.
The investigation was led by the Attorney General of Texas with an Executive Committee consisting of the Attorneys General of Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Also participating in the settlement are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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