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Pfizer will pay $67.5 million to settle investor lawsuit over Pristiq

Former shareholders of the company’s Wyeth Inc. unit claim that the company failed to disclose potential risks associated with the antidepressant

Pfizer Inc. is opening its coffers yet again, this time to settle a class-action suit involving former Wyeth Inc. shareholders who claim the pharmaceutical company misinformed them about the side effects of its antidepressant, Pristiq.

According to the shareholders, Wyeth, which Pfizer acquired in 2009, inflated its stock prices when it failed to disclose possible adverse effects of Pristiq, including potential heart and liver problems. In July 2007, the company announced that the Food and Drug Administration would not approve the drug for the treatment of hot flashes until it knew more about its risks. Following the news, Wyeth shares lost more than $7.6 billion of market value.

The all-cash $67.5 million settlement is now awaiting approval from U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan. Defendants in the case included several former Wyeth executives, who reportedly did not admit wrongdoing as part of the deal.

It’s been a rough few weeks for Pfizer, which announced last month that it would pay another group of shareholders $165 million to settle a separate class action suit involving its anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex. Just last week, the Canada Supreme Court struck down the drug company’s patent on Viagra, paving the way for competition from generic manufacturers.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the pharmaceutical industry, see:

Pfizer will pay $60 million to settle federal FCPA investigations

Circuit split reignites debate over reverse payments

Disagreement with clinical trial methodology insufficient to claim fraud

GSK agrees to unprecedented settlement, corporate integrity agreement

Dr. Drew Pinsky paid by Glaxo to promote Wellbutrin

Novartis unit recalls birth control pills

Alanna Byrne

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