Pfizer reached a preliminary accord under which it agreed to pay $325 million to settle allegations that it defrauded insurers and other healthcare benefit providers by promoting the epilepsy drug Neurontin (gabapentin) for unapproved uses. The company stated that it did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
An amended complaint filed in 2011 alleged that Pfizer "deliberately expanded the promotion of off-label uses" of Neurontin after acquiring the therapy in its acquisition of Warner-Lambert in 2000. The agreement, which still requires approval by a federal judge, will resolve "all third-party payer claims regarding off-label promotion" and state antitrust claims over Neurontin sales, stated Pfizer spokesman Steve Danehy.
The accord follows a settlement reached in April in which Pfizer agreed to pay $190 million to resolve allegations that the company delayed generic competition for Neurontin. Meanwhile, a US appeals court recently affirmed a $142.1-million award granted in a 2011 district court decision of a case accusing Pfizer of illegally promoting the drug.
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