A federal jury in Boston awarded Kaiser Permanente $142 million in a lawsuit against Pfizer targeting off-label marketing of the epilepsy drug Neurontin by Warner-Lambert, which Pfizer acquired in 2000.
Kaiser awarded $142 million in Pfizer case
The complaint alleged that Warner-Lambert created acceptance of the drug for a variety of unapproved uses by hosting seminars for physicians and ghostwriting articles signed by physicians paid to lend their names.
“As a result, we ultimately spent more than $100 million on a very expensive drug that we now know is no more effective than a placebo for pain, bipolar and many other conditions it was promoted to relieve,” Kaiser said in a written statement.
Pfizer plans to appeal the verdict, which came after a 21-day trial and affirmed Kaiser’s claims that the tactics violated the federal racketeering statute and constituted fraudulent business acts under California law. “What the jurors heard in the courtroom is not what Kaiser is telling its patients,” Pfizer said in a written statement. “In fact, Kaiser itself continues to recommend Neurontin for the same uses they sought recovery for in this case.”
In 2004 Pfizer agreed to pay $430 million to resolve Warner-Lambert’s criminal and civil liability related to the promotion of Neurontin.
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