Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pfizer's historic settlement

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Americans love to pop a pill, especially when their doctors are pushing them.

Here's some insight into who's pushing the doctors:

Pfizer will pay a record $2.3 billion penalty to settle an investigation into illegal prescription drug promotions.

The settlement with the Justice Department includes a $1.2 billion criminal fine, the largest in U.S. history.

The case involves Pfizer's promotion of the painkiller Bexra and other medicines. Authorities said Pfizer's sales representatives created phony doctor requests for medical information in order to send unsolicited information to doctors about unapproved uses and dosages.

The world's largest drug company wined and dined doctors and sent them on exotic trips to induce them to prescribe its drugs including the impotence treatment Viagra and cholesterol medicine Lipitor, they said.

The overall settlement is the largest ever paid by a drug company for alleged violations of federal drug rules.

Of the civil penalty, $977,444 will go to North Carolina to resolve allegations that it improperly marketed the antipsychotic drug Geodon, Attorney General Roy Cooper said.

Read the entire News and Observer post here.

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