Pfizer Ponies Up $2.3 Billion for Drug Crimes
September 3, 2009
Pfizer has agreed to pay $2.3 billion to settle criminal and civil liability due to its illegal off-label promotion of Bextra (a painkiller already pulled from the market), Geodon (like Zyprexa, an atypical antipsychotic that injures children), Zyvox (an antibiotic), and Lyrica (an epilepsy drug). Pfizer will plead guilty to one felony count violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for misbranding Bextra with the intent to defraud. This case was brought by sick whistleblowers who will be paid $102 million as part of the settlement. Geodon has a smaller percentage of the 12-billion-dollar-a-year poisoning campaign of our children and elderly, pulling in around $750 million. It was widely promoted in an off-label manner for ADHD and behavioral issues facing children - a market that has been fradulaently created and continues to rack up sales. Pfizer will no doubt figure out how to pass these fees along as future increased drug costs for U.S. taxpayers. Until Big Pharma criminal executives are actually sent to jail for intentionally injuring and killing people with their fraudulent use of drugs, this behavior is not likely to stop. Fraudulent promotion of drugs is part of the corporate culture of all big players in this corrupt industry. Until this issue is dealt with there is no way to control the cost of health care.