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- Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that he, along with 42 other Attorneys General, reached a $33 million dollar settlement with Pfizer Inc. related to the alleged improper marketing of the antipsychotic drug Geodon. In a complaint soon to be filed in court along with the settlement agreement, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen alleges that Pfizer engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it marketed Geodon for off-label uses. Pfizer has agreed to change how it markets Geodon and to cease promoting its "off-label" uses, which are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"Companies who do business in Wisconsin must follow our consumer protection laws. Together with my fellow Attorneys General, I will continue to monitor the industry for inappropriate and illegal promotion of off-label products," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
Geodon is the brand name for the prescription drug ziprasidone. The drug has been approved by the FDA for treatment of schizophrenia in adults and for manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder in adults. However, Pfizer promoted Geodon for a number of off-label uses, including promoting Geodon for pediatric use and for use at higher than FDA-approved dosages. While a physician is allowed to prescribe drugs for off-label uses, federal law prohibits pharmaceutical manufacturers from marketing their products for off-label uses.
The settlement mandates that Pfizer shall:
The settlement also mandates that for a nine-year time period extending beyond the patent term for Geodon, Pfizer shall:
For a six-year period, Pfizer must:
The State of Wisconsin will receive $749,600 as a result of this settlement.
The Attorneys General from Delaware and Maryland led the Executive Committee States' negotiation of the settlement of Pfizer's marketing and promotional practices. The Executive Committee States include Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The participating states in the settlement are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Assistant Attorney General Lara Sutherlin handled the case for the State of Wisconsin.