TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman on Wednesday that his office recovered approximately $843,000 from a multi-state settlement with Pfizer Inc. to resolve allegations its subsidiary unlawfully promoted an immunosuppressive drug.
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. allegedly promoted Rapamune for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While Rapamune is approved for use as a prophylactic to prevent organ rejection after kidney transplant surgery, Wyeth allegedly promoted the drug for use after other organ transplants.
“Marketing drugs for unapproved uses is wholly inappropriate,” Hoffman said. “New Jersey citizens have a right to expect more, and our consumer protection laws exist to ensure they get it. Through our own efforts, and through collaborative effort with other states where appropriate, we are committed to identifying unlawful and potentially harmful business practices, and to holding those who engage in such conduct accountable.”
Under the terms of the consent judgment, Pfizer must pay $35 million to the settling states, including approximately $843,000 to New Jersey. Pfizer must ensure its business practices do not unlawfully promote Pfizer products. Pfizer agreed to not use financial incentives to encourage the sale of its products for off-label uses, not disseminate information describing unapproved or off-label use of Rapamune, and not seek to influence the prescription of Rapamune that does not comply with the federal anti-kickback statute.