Pfizer fined $35 million for bribe, off-label marketing

Categories: Prescription Drugs

From Ed Silverman at Pharmalot:

Two separate deals are reached with the Department of Justice over a celebrated case that was initiated by Peter Rost, the notorious whistleblower, who worked at Pharmacia before it was acquired by Pfizer and was responsible for overseeing the marketing of the Genotropin human growth hormone.

In the first settlement, Pfizer’s Pharmacia & Upjohn subsidiary agrees to plead guilty to a single count of offering to an outside vendor “renumeration” in the form of a contract. The contract was awarded the vendor in 2000 to manage a Genotropin patient assistance program as an inducement for recommending the purchase of Pharmacia drugs. The unit has no “operational role” at Pfizer anymore, but will pay a $19.7 million fine.

In the other settlement, another Pharmacia & Upjohn unit signed a Deferred Prosecution Agreement that includes a $15 million fine over improper promotion of Genotropin. In its statement, Pfizer says it discovered the violation and reported it to the Justice Department and the Office of the Inspector General, although Rost maintains he uncovered the wrongdoing.

Kudos to Peter Rost for making sure at least one of the drug manufacturers is held accountable for its actions.

You can read the Pfizer press release here.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

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