Pfizer enters formal guilty plea in Neurontin case

Pfizer this week entered a formal guilty plea on charges of criminal health-care fraud concerning the marketing of Neurontin by its Warner-Lambert unit, as reported in the Boston Globe and Yahoo Finance. The drugmaker had agreed last month to plead guilty to two counts of violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and pay $430 million in fines.

As part of that settlement, the drug giant on Monday was ordered to pay a $240 million fine related Warner-Lambert's alleged illegal marketing of the epilepsy drug for unapproved uses.

The guilty plea was entered by Warner-Lambert's vice president, Martin Teicher. A company attorney "noted that Teicher had no involvement in any of the illegal marketing activities," as reported in the Boston Globe.

A whistleblower brought the alleged illegal activity to light in 1996. Pfizer has repeatedly made it clear that the claims under the lawsuit occurred years before it purchased the drug company in 2000.

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