Thursday, September 3, 2009
Pfizer Settles for $2.3 Billion: Obama Administration Serious About Cracking Down on Health Care Fraud
Washington Post reports that drug manufacturer, Pfizer, settled for a record $2.3 billion, pleading guilty to a felony charge of fraudulent marketing of drug, Bextra. This marks the first major Obama administration victory in cracking down on health care fraud, indicating that the administration is prioritizing this important issue.
The Pfizer unit Pharmacia & Upjohn pleaded guilty to a single felony charge that accused the company of marketing its anti-inflammatory drug Bextra for broader uses and higher dosages than those approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The company allegedly enticed doctors to prescribe the drug for pain relief by taking them on lavish trips, created sham requests for medical information as an excuse to send unsolicited advertising materials to physicians, and drafted articles promoting the pills without disclosing its role in preparing the stories.