Kansas, Others Reach $2.3 Billion Settlement With Pfizer

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

Topeka (WIBW) - The state of Kansas won millions of dollars from a Medicaid settlement with the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the world.

Attorney General Steve Six announced Wednesday that he, along with other attorneys general, had reached agreements with Pfizer.

It stems from allegations that Pfizer paid kickbacks and engaged in off-labeling marketing campaigns that promoted multiple drugs for certain uses the FDA had not approved.

Kansas will get $6 million from the $2.3 billion settlement against Pfizer and another $570,000 from the consumer settlement.

"This case demonstrates that the States will continue to monitor the industry for inappropriate and illegal promotion of off-label products,” Six said. “This judgment, along with our other recent drug cases, should send a strong message to the pharmaceutical industry that we will not tolerate deceptive and misleading drug promotion.”

In addition to the improper off-label marketing, Pfizer is alleged to have paid illegal remuneration to health care professionals to encourage them to promote and prescribe Bextra, Geodon, Lyrica, Zyvox, Aricept, Celebrex, Lipitor, Norvasc, Relpax, Viagra, Zithromax, Zoloft and Zyrtec. These payments allegedly took many forms, including entertainment, cash, travel and meals. Federal law prohibits payment of anything of value in exchange for the prescribing a product paid for by a federal health care program.

The separate $33 million consumer settlement alleges that Pfizer engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it marketed Geodon for off-label uses. Pfizer has agreed to change how it markets Geodon and has agreed not to promote “off-label” uses.

As a condition of the settlement, Pfizer will also enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, which will closely monitor the company’s future marketing and sales practices.

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