| June 2
June 2 Pfizer Inc has agreed to pay $325
million to resolve claims it defrauded insurers and other
healthcare benefit providers by marketing Neurontin for
unapproved uses, its second settlement over the epilepsy drug in
The preliminary accord was disclosed on Friday in U.S.
District Court in Boston.
It resolves allegations in a decade-old civil lawsuit that
Pfizer and its Warner-Lambert Co unit sold Neurontin for uses
for which it was neither approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration nor medically effective, in an effort to boost
The plaintiffs included third-party payers that said they
bought or reimbursed patients for the purchase of Neurontin from
the defendants, or bought gabapentin, the chemical name for
Neurontin, from Pfizer's Greenstone LLC generic drug unit.
Pfizer's settlement also resolves claims under state antitrust
In a statement, New York-based Pfizer said it did not admit
wrongdoing as part of the settlement. The settlement requires
approval by Chief Judge Patti Saris of the Boston court.
Several law firms represent the plaintiffs and plan to seek
attorney's fees of as much as one-third of the settlement
amount, court papers show.
On April 21, Pfizer agreed to pay $190 million to settle
separate litigation in a federal court in New Jersey in which
Neurontin purchasers accused it of taking steps to keep cheaper
generic versions of the drug off the market.
In May 2004, Pfizer agreed to pay $430 million and to plead
guilty to criminal charges for illegally marketing Neurontin for
unapproved uses such as migraine headaches and pain.
Pfizer obtained Neurontin when it bought Warner-Lambert in
The case is: In re Neurontin Marketing, Sales Practices, and
Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of
Massachusetts, Nos. MDL 1629, 04-10981.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jonathan