INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): Indiana is set to receive $720,000 as a result of a $35 million multi-state consumer settlement.
The settlement, reached by Attorney General Greg Zoeller and 41 other attorneys general, resolves a case involving Pfizer Inc, a parent of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. The terms of the settlement require that the funds be used for consumer education related purposes.
According to the Attorney General’s office the settlement involved allegations that Wyeth unlawfully promoted Rapamune, an immunosuppressive drug currently approved by the FDA as prophylactic for organ rejection after kidney transplant surgery.
Zoeller said pharmaceutical companies can only promote a drug for the uses approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but doctors are free to prescribe the drug for other uses. According to the Complaint and Consent Judgment filed today, Wyeth violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the uses and benefits of Rapamune.
“Pharmaceutical companies that use off-label marketing to promote a prescription drug to boost sales are putting patients at an unnecessary risk,” Zoeller said. “Promoting a drug for uses other than what has been approved by the FDA is a serious offense that will not be tolerated.”
The Consent Judgment also requires Pfizer to ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote Rapamune or any Pfizer product.