| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Aug 6 Pfizer Inc agreed to pay
$35 million to 41 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. to settle
claims that its Wyeth unit illegally marketed the drug Rapamune,
and encouraged doctors and hospitals to prescribe it for
The settlement was announced on Wednesday, just over one
year after Pfizer agreed in July 2013 to pay $490.9 million to
resolve U.S. Department of Justice claims over the marketing of
Pfizer bought Wyeth in October 2009, and the alleged
improper conduct predated that purchase.
Rapamune was approved in 1999 to help people who received
kidney transplants keep their immune systems from rejecting the
Regulators said Wyeth encouraged its sales force to promote
Rapamune for other uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, including by people who received heart, liver
and lung transplants, and in combination with other drugs.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the
settlement also restricts how Pfizer markets other drugs.
"Patients and consumers need to have confidence in the
truthfulness of claims made to them by medical providers without
having to worry about drug companies manipulating the
doctor-patient relationship," Schneiderman said in a statement.
In 2013, Pfizer, which is based in New York, generated $350
million of revenue from Rapamune. Neither Pfizer nor Wyeth
admitted wrongdoing or liability in agreeing to settle.
"Pfizer and its subsidiaries take compliance very seriously
and the company is committed to ensuring that its promotional
practices meet or exceed all legal requirements and the
expectations of the people we serve," the company said.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David