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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Settlement with Pfizer, Inc.

 

“This settlement again reminds people that we’ll do all we can to protect taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that those who really need the help can get it,” Attorney General Van Hollen said.

 

 MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Wisconsin has reached a settlement with Pfizer, Inc., a major pharmaceutical manufacturer incorporated and with its principal place of business in New York.  

 

The settlement concludes a government investigation into allegations that the company engaged in illegal off-label marketing schemes to promote the sales of its urology drug Detrol for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).   

 

The settlement will return $213,528.72 to the state’s Medicaid program.  Wisconsin Medicaid is a state administered healthcare program for the state’s indigent and disabled, jointly funded by the state and federal government.   

 

Detrol was FDA-approved in March 1998 for the treatment of overactive bladder with symptoms of urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency.  The settlement resolves allegations that Pfizer’s promotional activities were designed by the company to increase the prescribing of Detrol for uses in men for which it was not approved. These uses included treatment for benign prostate hyperplasia (“BPH”), bladder outlet obstruction (“BOO”) and lower urinary tract symptoms (“LUTS”).   

 

“This settlement again reminds people that we’ll do all we can to protect taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that those who really need the help can get it,” Attorney General Van Hollen said.  “Both recipients and providers have to follow the rules so we can make the program as efficient as possible.”  

The investigation began with a whistleblower lawsuit filed by two former Pfizer employees (the “relators”) in U.S. District Court in Boston, Massachusetts.  The settlement is the result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the U.S. Department of Justice, the relators’ attorneys, and a team of investigators from several states. 

 

The total value of the national civil settlement is $14 million, with $5,576,923 designated as Medicaid program recovery.  The remaining portion of the civil recovery is for damages to other federally-funded health care programs (Medicare, TRICARE and the Department of Defense).