Pfizer Agrees to Pay $14.5 Million for Off-Label Marketing

On October 21, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the pharmaceutical manufacturer, Pfizer Inc., agreed to pay $14.5 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act related to Detrol, a drug marketed for a condition called overactive bladder. This agreement resulted from a whistleblower lawsuit claiming that Pfizer marketed Detrol to men with enlarged prostates and related conditions, including bladder obstruction despite the fact that the drug was not approved for those uses. However, Detrol was only approved for treating frequent urination, and bladder leaks. The $14.5 million award will be shared with the whistleblowers who reported the alleged marketing activity, who will receive $3.2 million from the settlement. A portion of the settlement amount, $2.6 million, will be shared with state Medicaid programs. The settlement follows a $2.3 billion settlement with the federal government two years ago for violations that Pfizer illegally marketed Lipitor, Viagra, and eleven other drugs.

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