Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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OREGON ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN KROGER ANNOUNCES $33 MILLION HEALTH CARE FRAUD SETTLEMENT WITH PFIZER

September 15, 2009

Oregon's share of the multi-state illegal marketing settlement is $633,000. The states accused Pfizer of marketing the antipsychotic drug Geodon for uses not approved by the FDA

Attorney General John Kroger today announced a $33 million multi-state settlement with Pfizer, Inc. over the pharmaceutical giant's marketing of the drug Geodon.

"I am deeply committed to holding big pharmaceutical companies accountable when they violate the law," said Attorney General Kroger. "Illegal drug marketing must be stopped."

The settlement stems from allegations that Pfizer illegally marketed Geodon for uses that are unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Geodon has FDA approval to treat adult schizophrenia and manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder in adults.

Oregon and 42 states accused Pfizer of promoting Geodon for unapproved uses, including for treating children and at higher doses than the FDA approved. Although physicians can prescribe drugs for uses that have not been approved by the FDA, federal law prohibits pharmaceutical manufacturers from marketing their products for unapproved uses.

In early September, Pfizer agreed to the largest pharmaceutical company settlement in U.S. history stemming from allegations of kickbacks and illegal marketing of the drug Bextra. The Oregon Department of Justice played a key role in that settlement.

Assistant Attorney General in Charge David Hart, Senior Assistant Attorney General Greg Smith and Assistant Attorney General Merrill A. Maiano handled the settlement for the Oregon Department of Justice.

The Oregon Department of Justice is a national leader in cracking down on health care fraud, recovering tens of millions of dollars for Oregon consumers and the Oregon Health Plan.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Contact:

Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |
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