An agreement has been reached where Pfizer will be paying $491m (£320m) to settle a probe into illegal marketing of the drug, Rapamune by Wyeth, a company that was procured by Pfizer in 2009.
The drug is prescribed to treat and prevent the rejection of transplanted kidneys and it is alleged that sales staff at Wyeth promoted the use of the drug to doctors, for the treatment of other unauthorised organ transplants. Based in America, Pfizer has made a point about the fact that the supposed illegal marketing occurred before the company purchased Wyeth.
As quoted by the US Department of Justice – “Wyeth trained its sales force to promote Rapamune for off-label uses not approved by the FDA, including ex-renal uses and even paid bonuses as incentives for those sales”. A statement from Pfizer said – “Pfizer was not a subject or target of this matter and cooperated fully with the government from the time it learned of this investigation in October 2009”. A payment of $55m was agreed by Pfizer last year to settle other charges. These concerned the fact that Wyeth promoted Protonix, a drug for heartburn, for unsanctioned applications.
Pfizer has registered outstanding profit figures and this latest settlement follows these gains. During the second quarter period, according to the company, its profit quadrupled revealing a net profit of $14.1bn. This is in comparison with the $3.2bn achieved a year ago, during the same time frame.