The pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, has been ordered to pay $142 million in damages for fraudulently marketing gabapentin, an anti-seizure drug, marketed under the name Neurontin. A federal jury in Boston ruled on March 25th that Pfizer fraudulently marketed the drug and promoted it for unapproved uses. The jury sided with California-based Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. This was the first trial of a gabapentin case against Pfizer.
The drug was promoted by Pfizer as a treatment for pain, migraines and bipolar disorder — even though it wasn’t effective in treating these conditions and was actually toxic in certain cases, according to the Therapautics Initiative, an independent drug research group at the University of British Columbia. The company had been forced in lawsuits to release all of its studies on the drug, including those it kept hidden.
A new analysis of those unpublished trials by the Therapeutics Initiative suggests that gabapentin works for one out of every six or eight people who use it, at best. The review also concluded that one in eight people had an adverse reaction to the drug. To date, Pfizer has been assessed $430 million in penalties and fines for fraudulently promoting gabapentin in the U.S.
Source: CBS News
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