Pfizer has reached a $35 million settlement with 42 states to settle allegations that it deceptively marketed its drug Rapamune, which is prescribed to help prevent rejection of kidney transplants. The settlement was announced by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, according to an article written by the N.C. Department of Justice in JDNews.com.
The $35 million will be split among the 42 states, with $1.2 million going to North Carolina, NC Department of Justice writes. The attorneys general of the states accused Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth Pharmaceuticals of engaging in deceptive and unfair marketing practices with regards to Rapamune by misrepresenting its uses and benefits.
“Promoting a drug to treat a condition without proof that it could help patients is wrong,” said Cooper. “Patients and their doctors deserve honest, accurate information about medications.”
The terms of the settlement require Pfizer to change the way it markets and promotes its products. The company is prohibited from marketing any of its products in a false, misleading or deceptive way. Pfizer also cannot compare their product to another one without substantial evidence, or market a product for a use not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) known as off-label use. Furthermore, the drug maker cannot share information about a product’s off-label use unless it is within FDA regulations or offer incentives to promote off-label use. Unless Rapamune is being used for an approved purpose, Pfizer cannot attempt to include it in hospital protocols or standing orders. Lastly, Pfizer cannot try to “influence the prescribing of Rapamune in hospitals or transplant centers in any manner that does not comply with federal law banning kick-backs, including through funding clinical trials.” the NC DOJ said.
The settlement was negotiated by the Executive Committee, served by North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. Other states involved in the settlement include 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.