Se trata de una multa millonaria por promoción ilegal de 13 medicamentos.
Entre ellos Bextra, un inhibidor COX-2 que fue retirado del mercado por
efectos adversos hace años. La promoción de estos medicamentos "off label"
es ilegal, al igual que los métodos de marketing que se denuncian en el
*"To promote the drugs, authorities said Pfizer invited doctors to
consultant meetings at resort locations, paying their expenses and providing
perks. **"They were entertained with golf, massages and other activities,"
said Mike Loucks, the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts.* "
*"Pfizer's corrupt practices went so far as sending physicians on exotic
junkets as well as wining and dining health-care professionals to persuade
them to prescribe the company's drugs for patients in taxpayer-funded
programs," he said*
This weeks Pharma Phacts post out surrounds Pfizer's nasty fine for illegal
promotion of 13 of its biggest drugs.
The fine which amounts to US$2.3 billion (that is right, billion) is the
largest case health care fraud in US history. Just over half of that, $1.19
million is a criminal fine for felony misbranding. That figure also is a
record breaker, as the largest criminal settlement in US history.
The criminal part of the settlement, surrounded the illegal promtion of
Bextra, a COX-2 inhibitor. Bextra, was pulled from the U.S. market in 2005
amid mounting evidence it raised the risk of heart attack, stroke and death.
Pfizer continued to promote the use of Bextra for off-label uses of the
drug. This practice is illegal in both the US and Australia.
Off-label prescription is when a doctor prescribes a drug that has not been
approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA is the
Australian statutory body that regulates the approval of a drug and for
what conditions the drug can be prescribed for. This is based on rigorous
clinical trials and evidence a drugs efficacy and safety.
The practice of off-label prescription is not uncommon in Australia, however
the practice of promoting the drug for any uses it has not been approved for
The other drugs that were part of the civil settlements included the
blockbuster nerve pain and epilepsy drug Lyrica (pregabalin), schizophrenia
medication Geodon (ziprasidone), the antibiotic Zyvox (linezolid) and nine
Some pretty scary stuff...
For more, check out the link below.