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Whistleblower's Attorney Says Pfizer's Guilty Plea Today Opens New Chapter on Aggressive Enforcement of Pharma Companies
Date:10/16/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Pfizer Inc., through a wholly owned subsidiary, is expected to plead guilty to a felony today in federal district court in Boston as part of a plea agreement that includes a record-breaking $1.3 billion criminal fine for the illegal marketing of the painkiller Bextra for unsafe and unapproved uses.

"This case exposed the total disregard a pharmaceutical company had for patients' lives by putting profits above all else," said Erika A. Kelton, a Washington, DC, attorney with Phillips & Cohen LLP, which represented the whistleblower who exposed Pfizer's "off-label" marketing of Bextra. "Pfizer created a corporate culture that encouraged and rewarded those who ignored federal safety laws to boost sales. It took an insider to bring these violations to light and dedicated government officials to stop them."

The federal government lays out details of Pfizer's sales and marketing tactics and strategy for Bextra in a sentencing memorandum, which is posted at http://www.phillipsandcohen.com/CM/NewsSettlements/U.S.Sentencing%20Memo%20re%20Pfizer%20(00015260).PDF

Pfizer's plea agreement was announced Sept. 2 as part of a record $2.3 billion settlement with the federal government, but it has to be approved by the court. In addition to the $1.3 billion criminal fine, Pfizer paid $502 million to the federal government to settle the whistleblower lawsuit brought by Phillips & Co
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SOURCE Phillips & Cohen LLP
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