Madigan and 32 other attorneys
general alleged the company promoted Zyvox as a superior medication to
vancomycin, an antibiotic used by physicians for decades, without scientific
evidence to back up that claim and without disclosing critical safety
information for patients.
The attorneys general also alleged Pfizer illegally
promoted its seizure medication, Lyrica, for "off-label uses," or to treat
conditions, including chronic pain and migraines, without approval from the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer also allegedly incentivized its sales
employees to promote Lyrica over another drug, Neurontin, and its generic
equivalent, gabapentin, without scientific evidence to back up claims that
Lyrica would produce better results for patients.
"Pfizer put its business interests ahead of patients' health and safety,"
Madigan said. "The settlement will put a stop to the company's potentially
dangerous sales and marketing practices."
Under the settlement, Pfizer must reform how it markets and promotes Zyvox
and Lyrica. The company must not make any false, misleading or deceptive claims
when comparing the efficacy or safety of Zyvox to vancomycin or promote any
Pfizer product for off-label uses. The settlement also requires Pfizer to bar
employee financial incentives based upon improper marketing of Zyvox and Lyrica,
and the company must promptly notify its sales force of any warning letter
received from the FDA that affects sales representatives in their promotion of
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Illinois will receive $2.1 million under the settlement.
Joining Madigan in the settlement were attorneys general from
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, the
District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas,
Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey,
New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington,
Virginia and Wisconsin.
[Text from file received from the office
Illinois Attorney General Lisa