Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that Florida will receive nearly $1.3 million from a national settlement, including other states and the federal government, with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc. over off-label marketing allegations. Rapamune is only approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in treating kidney transplant patients. The settlement resolves allegations that the company, now owned by Pfizer, Inc., promoted the drug for the treatment of other kinds of transplant patients, which resulted in the submission of false or fraudulent Medicaid claims.
“Companies that market a drug for off-label purposes in order to increase their pharmaceutical drug sales are breaking the law, and Florida’s Medicaid program should not pick up the tab for this illegal activity,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
To resolve the federal government’s concurrent criminal charges, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. pled guilty in federal court in Oklahoma to violations of the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and has agreed to pay more than $233 million in criminal fines and forfeitures.
The settlement is the result of a joint investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, the U.S. Department of Justice and representatives from Medicaid Fraud Control Units from the following states: Florida, Michigan, and South Carolina and the Commonwealths of Virginia and Massachusetts.