Pfizer to pay $325M fine to third party payers


Without admitting wrongdoing, Pfizer (PFE +0.3%) agrees to pay $325M to certain third party payers to settle allegations that it defrauded insurers and other healthcare benefit providers by marketing Neurontin for unapproved uses.

On April 21, the company agreed to pay $190M to settle litigation in New Jersey. The case was brought by Neurontin buyers who accused it of taking steps to keep cheaper generic versions of the drug off the market.

In May 2004 PFE agreed to pay $430M and plead guilty to criminal charges for illegally marketing Neurontin for unapproved uses.

The company acquired Neurontin when it bought Warner-Lambert in 2000.

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Comments (5)
  • noodles
    , contributor
    Comments (48) | Send Message
     
    Neurontin... not Neurotonin.
    2 Jun 2014, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • sethmcs
    , contributor
    Comments (3565) | Send Message
     
    The problem here is no one questions a doctor even if they prescribe a laxative for a headache. The system is setup for doctors to control approved and unapproved use. As long as that is the case we will have people taking medication that hasn't been approved by FDA for the specific condition they are taking it.
    2 Jun 2014, 10:40 PM Reply Like
  • sethmcs
    , contributor
    Comments (3565) | Send Message
     
    The solution is the insurer should deny payment unless there is specific evidence that diagnosis in this case epilepsy is present. The problem would be solved.
    2 Jun 2014, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • arten2
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Pain relief from spinal cord injury has also become a leading feature justifying Neurontin's use. Physician prescription required.
    2 Jun 2014, 11:35 PM Reply Like
  • artfullistener
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Pfizer was guilty of promoting gabapentin (Neurontin) for several conditions that it had never received formal approval to treat. These were somewhat difficult to treat conditions like bipolar disorder and chronic pain. It is not that easy for doctors to know every indication for every medication for every condition. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors rely on the suggestions of drug company representatives, who are only legally allowed to provide details on approved indications. But the pharmaceutical representatives may often add comments or refer to articles that present alternative uses for the medications. Or they may say something like, "Dr. Jones uses this medication a lot for such patients."
    2 Jun 2014, 11:56 PM Reply Like
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