Pfizer Settles Off-Label Kidney Transplant Drug Lawsuit with 41 States for $35 Million
A total of 41 states have settled a lawsuit against Pfizer and its subsidiary Wyeth Pharmaceuticals for off-label promotion and use of a kidney transplant drug for $35 million.
The personal injury lawsuit alleged that Wyeth trained its sales staff to promote off-label use of Rapamune, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent the immune system from rejecting a transplanted kidney.
Allegedly, Wyeth offered bonuses to sales staff who sold Rapamune to doctors and surgeons who were convinced to prescribe the kidney transplant drug in unapproved drug combinations or after prescribing a different immunosuppressant drug.
“Marketing drugs for unapproved uses is wholly inappropriate,” acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said in a statement. “New Jersey citizens have a right to expect more, and our consumer protection laws exist to ensure they get it.”
A similar case last year alleged that Rapamune’s off-label use constituted Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
“My office served on the executive committee of the attorneys general that obtained this consent judgment because consumers deserve clear and truthful information when making important decisions about the medications critical to their treatment,” said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Oregon and Texas led the executive committee, which also included attorneys general from California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Also participating in the settlement are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. South Carolina did not participate in the lawsuit against Pfizer and Wyeth.
“There has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or powerful, and that includes big pharmaceutical companies that make unapproved and unsubstantiated claims about products in order to boost profits,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“Patients and consumers need to have confidence in the truthfulness of claims made to them by medical providers without having to worry about drug companies manipulating the doctor-patient relationship,” Schneiderman said. “Their health and well-being depend on it.”
Pfizer faces other personal injury and class action lawsuits, including class actions alleging their statin drug Lipitor causes Type 2 diabetes; personal injury lawsuits alleging its testosterone therapy gels can lead to blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks; and problems associated with birth control pills.
South Carolina Dangerous Drug Lawyers
The pharmaceutical industry develops many life-saving medications and medical devices each year. However, in a race to get their products to the market, many pharmaceutical companies ignore or do not anticipate the side effects of medications or medical devices that later lead to injury and even death.
Every year, approximately 200,000 Americans die from prescription drug reactions. While the U.S. government pours billions of dollars into illegal drug interdiction every year, more Americans die from legal, prescription drugs than illegal ones.
If you or a loved one have been injured or died as a result of a dangerous drug given with a prescription, over the counter medication, herbal supplement, vitamin, or defective medical device, you need an experienced pharmaceutical liability law firm which is able to stand up for your rights, and seek justice on your behalf. The Strom Law Firm can help with class actions, consumer protection, and personal injury lawsuits against large pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. 803.252.4800