JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Thursday that the state of Missouri will receive $693,000 as part of a national settlement with a Pfizer subsidiary.
Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company, allegedly unlawfully marketed Rapamune, an immunosuppressant drug, by marketing it for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Koster's lawsuit filed in Cole County alleged that Wyeth violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the uses of the drug.
The FDA approved using Rapamune after kidney transplants, but Wyeth allegedly engaged in the intentional marketing of Rapamune for other types of transplants, such as liver and lung transplants. Koster alleged the FDA warned against using the drug for liver and lung transplants because of potential harm to patients.
"Consumers trust they are receiving the appropriate medicine to address their health-care need," Koster said. "We will continue to protect Missouri consumers by holding companies that engage in deceptive marketing practices responsible for their behavior."
Pfizer agreed to pay $35 million in total to 41 states and the District of Columbia to settle the unlawful marketing allegations. The company must also make sure its promotional and marketing practices do not unlawfully promote Rapamune or any Pfizer products.