Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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Attorney General Tom Horne And Other State Attorneys General Reach A $35 Million Consumer Settlement With Pfizer Concerning The Immunosuppresive Drug Rapamune

Phoenix, AZ (Wednesday, August 6, 2014) – Attorney General Tom Horne and other Attorneys General have reached a $35 million settlement with Pfizer Inc., who as parent of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. agrees to be bound by the judgment.  Pfizer agrees to resolve allegations that Wyeth unlawfully promoted Rapamune, an immunosuppressive drug currently approved by the FDA as prophylactic for organ rejection after kidney transplant surgery. The Complaint and Consent Judgment filed today allege that Wyeth violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the uses and benefits of Rapamune, including making representations related to: (1) the unapproved use of Rapamune following an organ transplant other than a kidney transplant; (2) the unapproved protocol of converting patients to Rapamune after initially receiving a different immunosuppressive drug; and (3) using Rapamune in unapproved drug combinations.   

Arizona’s portion of the settlement is $721,169, which will be deposited into the Consumer Fraud Revolving Fund.

“The use of deceptive acts or practices, or misrepresentations in connection with the sale or advertisement of goods or services, is unlawful under the Consumer Fraud Act,” Attorney General Tom Horne stated. “Our Office will continue to take action against anyone who engages in such unlawful acts.”

The Consent Judgment requires Pfizer to ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote Rapamune or any Pfizer product. Specifically, Pfizer shall not: 

  • Make, or cause to be made, any written or oral claim that is false, misleading, or deceptive regarding any Pfizer Product;
  • Make any claim comparing the safety or efficacy of a Pfizer Product to another product when that claim is not supported by substantial evidence as defined by Federal law and regulations;
  • Promote any Pfizer Product for Off-Label uses;
  • Include mechanisms in its financial incentives to provide incentive compensation for sales that may be attributable to the Off-Label uses of any Pfizer Product;
  • Affirmatively seek the inclusion of Rapamune in hospital protocols or standing orders unless Rapamune has been approved by the FDA for the indication for which it is to be included in the protocol or standing order;
  • Disseminate information describing any Off-Label or unapproved use of Rapamune unless such information and materials comply with applicable FDA regulations and the recommended actions in FDA Guidances for Industry; or
  • Seek to influence the prescribing of Rapamune in hospitals or transplant centers in any manner (including through funding clinical trials) that does not comply with the Federal anti-kickback statute.

This case was handled by Assistants Attorney General Noreen R. Matts and Stephen Emedi.