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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and 32 Attorneys General Nationwide Obtain a $42.9 Million Judgment Against Pfizer Inc. Regarding the Drugs Zyvox and Lyrica

 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that he and 32 other Attorneys General obtained a $42.9 million Consent Judgment with Pfizer Inc. to resolve allegations that Pfizer Inc. unlawfully promoted its drugs Zyvox® and Lyrica®.

 

The Attorneys General allege that Pfizer Inc. engaged in misrepresentations in its promotion of Zyvox® by making misleading and unsubstantiated superiority claims that broadened the indications for Zyvox®, an antibacterial agent approved to treat certain types of infections, including among other approved indications, nosocomial pneumonia caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”) and complicated skin and skin structure infections due to MRSA. Moreover, the Attorneys General allege that Pfizer Inc. engaged in untrue and deceptive representations in promoting Lyrica® for off-label uses.

 

“Making false claims about a drug's superiority not only violates our State's consumer protection laws, but it could put the public health at risk,” Van Hollen said. “For this reason, the State of Wisconsin will continue to be diligent in prosecuting pharmaceutical companies that misrepresent important characteristics of their drugs.”

 

As part of the Consent Judgment, Pfizer Inc. is required to reform how it markets and promotes Zyvox® and Lyrica®. Under the Consent Judgment, Pfizer Inc. shall not:

  • Make any false, misleading, or deceptive claims when comparing the efficacy or safety of Zyvox® to vancomycin;
  • Promote any Pfizer product for off-label uses;
  • Fail to design financial incentives that ensure that its marketing personnel are not motivated to engage in the improper marketing of Zyvox® or Lyrica®; or
  • Fail to notify its sales force promptly of any warning letter received from the FDA that affects sales representatives in the promotion of Pfizer products.

Under the settlement, Wisconsin shall receive $1,178,356.

 

The investigation was led by the Attorney General of Texas with an Executive Committee consisting of the Attorneys General of Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Also participating in the settlement are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

 

The State was represented by Assistant Attorney General Lara Sutherlin.

 

Copies of the Summons, Complaint and Consent Judgment are available at the following links: