n the largest health care fraud settlement in history, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer must pay $2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company illegally promoted uses of four of its drugs, including the painkiller Bextra, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Besides Bextra, the drugs were Geodon, an antipsychotic; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug. Once the Food and Drug Administration approves drugs, doctors can prescribe them off-label for any use, but makers can’t market them for anything other than approved uses.
Pfizer subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn pleaded guilty to a felony violation for promoting off-label uses of Bextra, such as for pain relief after knee replacement surgery. At the FDA’s request, Pfizer pulled Bextra off the market in April 2005 because its risks, including a rare, sometimes fatal, skin reaction, outweighed its benefits. It had been approved only for treating rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and menstrual pain.Pfizer fined $2.3 billion for illegal marketing in off-label drug case – ABC News
And everyone ‘trusts’ this company with experimental injections of a never seen before product?