The Justice Department has joined a whistle-blower lawsuit against Pfizer and its subsidiary Wyeth Pharmaceuticals that accuses Wyeth of illegal off-label marketing of Rapamune, a drug used to prevent rejection of kidney transplants. This claim seeks recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars in inappropriate billings to public health programs. Nineteen states, including New York, and the District of Columbia also joined the filing.
There is also a criminal investigation into the marketing by Wyeth. The whistle-blower suit was filed in 2005, four years before Pfizer bought Wyeth for $68 billion. Pfizer could be in violation of a corporate integrity agreement it signed a year ago in a separate case if it was involved in further illegal sales. In that case, Pfizer paid $2.3 billion, including a $1.3 billion criminal fine, the largest in United States history, to settle investigations into illegal marketing of the painkillers Bextra and Lyrica, the schizophrenia drug Geodon and Zyvox, an antibiotic.
Source: New York Times
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