Pfizer Ordered to Pay $142 Million

Pfizer has been ordered to pay $142.1 million for off-label marketing of its epilepsy drug Neurontin. Federal judge Patti B. Saris upheld a jury’s verdict in favor of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals that Pfizer had been marketing Neurontin for uses that had not been approved by the FDA.
The judge’s ruling is significant in that she awarded treble damages under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970. The original award was $47.3 million. In the lawsuit, Kaiser claimed it had been forced to pay Pfizer $90 million more than it should have for the drug Neurontin.
According to the NY Times, “Pfizer currently faces more than 300 suits accusing it of illegally promoting Neurontin or hiding its health risks. Lawyers for former users of Neurontin contend the drug maker knew the medicine posed a suicide risk and failed to disclose it to patients and doctors.
The Warner-Lambert Company developed and marketed Neurontin for several years before Pfizer acquired the drug maker in 2000. Four years later, Warner-Lambert pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $430 million to resolve off-label marketing allegations by the Justice Department.”