Pfizer has agreed to stump up $35 million in order to lay to rest allegations across 42 states that its subsidiary Wyeth engaged in deceptive marketing practices and the illegal promotion of its immunosuppressant Rapamune.
The complaint alleged that Wyeth, which Pfizer snapped up back in 2009, encouraged doctors to prescribe the drug off-label for preventing the rejection of transplant organs outside of its approved use for kidney transplants.
It also accused Wyeth of violating state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting Rapamune’s uses and benefits “through an orchestrated campaign of promotional talks by Wyeth-retained doctors, misleading presentations of data, and funding of studies at hospitals and transplant centres designed to encourage off-label uses of Rapamune”.
Pfizer said it has agreed the settlement without any admission of wrong-doing or liability, and stressed its commitment “to ensuring that its promotional practices meet or exceed all legal requirements and the expectations of the people we serve”.
Commenting on the case, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said “patients and consumers need to have confidence in the truthfulness of claims made to them by medical providers without having to worry about drug companies manipulating the doctor-patient relationship. Their health and well-being depend on it.”