Pfizer to pay $35M to settle drug marketing case

Pfizer (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer will pay $35 million to resolve allegations by 42 states that its subsidiary, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, illegally marketed an organ transplant drug for unapproved uses.

The states’ attorneys general said Wednesday that Wyeth, which Pfizer bought in 2009, trained sales representatives to encourage doctors to prescribe Rapamune for uses other than preventing rejection of transplanted kidneys.

Rapamune was approved in 1999 for use in kidney transplant patients. Promoting drugs for uses not cleared by the Food and Drug Administration is illegal.

Pfizer agreed to pay nearly $491 million in July 2013 to resolve a similar investigation by the Department of Justice.

Pfizer said in a statement that the alleged activity occurred before it acquired Wyeth. The company did not admit any wrongdoing or liability as part of the settlement.

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