Pfizer to Pay $14.5 Million in Fines for Off-label Drugs

The agreement comes on top of a major $2.3 billion settlement arising from its advertising of four drugs, including the since-withdrawn painkiller Bextra, for unapproved purposes.

For marketing certain medicines for uses for which they were not approved, Pfizer has agreed to pay an additional $14.5 million, the Justice Department said on Oct. 21.

Pfizer agreed to pay the settlement for marketing of Detrol, a drug for the treatment of an overactive bladder, for use in male patients suffering from an enlarged prostate and related conditions.

The agreement comes on top of a major $2.3 billion settlement with the largest pharmaceutical group arising from its advertising of four drugs, including the since-withdrawn painkiller Bextra, for unapproved purposes.

The $14.5 million will be divided between the United States and participating state Medicaid programs, while so-called "whistleblowers" will receive nearly $3.3 million.

"The United States is pleased that Pfizer has agreed to resolve the last of the pending cases that were not settled as part of the 2009 resolution and plea," said Carmen Ortiz, US Attorney for Massachusetts.

"We hope and expect that this is indicative of a commitment to move forward in compliance with the law, and we will continue to watch vigilantly to ensure that Pfizer complies with the law in its sales and marketing of drugs sold to the public."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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