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Pfizer Pays a Record Amount to Settle Federal and State Fraud Investigations Into Illegal Off-Label Marketing Practices
Date:9/2/2009

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Pfizer, Inc. announced today it has agreed to plead guilty to criminal conduct and to pay more than $2 billion in criminal and civil fines, penalties and damages to settle allegations made in multiple whistleblower lawsuits that the pharmaceutical giant defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other government-funded health care programs in connection with its market practices for four of its drugs. The settlement is the largest qui tam settlement in U.S. history.

Brian Kenney and Tavy Deming of Kenney Egan McCafferty & Young represented the Geodon whistleblowers and served as co-counsel to the Zyvox whistleblower.

As part of the record settlement, Pfizer agreed to pay $300 million to resolve allegations that it engaged in off-label marketing of its blockbuster atypical antipsychotic Geodon, which generated over $1 billion dollars in sales in 2008. The allegations were first made in a qui tam lawsuit filed by Kenney and Deming on behalf of Harrisburg psychiatrist, Dr. Stefan Kruszewski. Pfizer also agreed to pay $100 million to resolve allegations that it improperly marketed its antibiotic Zyvox. That case was filed by Ronald Rainero, a former Pfizer sales manager from New Jersey.

Geodon is FDA-approved only to treat patients ages 18-65 diagnosed with schizophrenia or acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder. However, according to the whistleblower suit unsealed today, Pfizer illegally promoted the sale and use of Geodon for a variety of off-label conditions, including depression, bipolar maintenance, mood disorder, anxiety, aggression, dementia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, autism, posttraumatic stress disorder, and for pediatric, adolescent and geriatric patients.

According to Kenney, "Pfizer targeted pediatrics and adolescents to expand off-label use
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SOURCE Kenney, Egan, McCafferty & Young
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