A Pfizer shareholder said in a lawsuit that the company's directors should be held liable for repeatedly breaching federal drug marketing laws that resulted in the drugmaker entering into a criminal guilty plea and paying $2.3 billion to settle charges, as reported Wednesday in BusinessWeek.
Pfizer reached the settlement to resolve government probes over marketing practices related to Bextra (valdecoxib) and other drugs, and paid an additional $430 million to resolve claims that it illegally marketed Neurontin (gabapentin).
In the suit, lawyers for the shareholder, a union pension fund, said that Pfizer's "board and senior management made a calculated bet that the negative consequences of getting caught would never become significant," adding that "defendants lost the bet." The shareholders, who claim that inaction on the part of the company's board reduced the value of their stake in the company, want the directors to be held liable for these acts and also seek to recoup "all profits, benefits and other compensation" they received as board members, BusinessWeek said.
Pfizer did not comment on the lawsuit.
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