Pfizer Will Pay $2.3 Billion for Fraudulent Marketing

Pfizer Inc. and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc. have agreed to pay $2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Sept. 2.

This marks the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the DOJ.

The total criminal resolution Pfizer and Pharmacia & Upjohn have agreed to pay amounts to $1.3 billion. Pfizer has also agreed to pay $1 billion to resolve allegations under the civil False Claims Act that the company illegally promoted four drugs – Bextra; Geodon, an anti-psychotic drug; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug – and caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs for uses that were not medically accepted indications and not covered by those programs. The civil settlement also resolves allegations that Pfizer paid kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe these, as well as other, drugs. The federal share of the civil settlement is over $668 million and the state Medicaid share of the civil settlement is over $331 million.

“This historic settlement will return nearly $1 billion to Medicare, Medicaid, and other government insurance programs, securing their future for the Americans who depend on these programs,” said Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary.

You can read the press release in its entirety on the DOJ Web site. The Corporate Integrity Agreement is available on the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Web site.

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