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Pfizer agrees to pay $491 million in drug suit

The company’s Pfizer unit marketed a kidney transplant drug for unapproved uses

Pfizer’s pocketbook is nearly $500 million lighter today. The pharmaceutical giant announced that its subsidiary, Wyeth, is pleading guilty to federal charges and will pay $491 million for marketing one of its drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Wyeth pleaded guilty to one count of misbranding Rapamune, a kidney transplant drug, for unapproved uses, including other transplant procedures, the Justice Department said in a statement today. Wyeth will pay a $157.5 million criminal fine, will forfeit assets worth $76 million and will pay another $257 million to resolve civil claims that it trained its staff to market Rapamune for heart, lung, liver and pancreas transplants.


Cathleen Flahardy

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