State of Florida to Receive $58.2 Million in Massive Pfizer Fraud Settlement
According to a news release from Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, the State of Florida will recover $58.2 million from Pfizer as part of the global settlement announced yesterday to resolve civil and criminal claims relating to Pfizer's pattern of illegal marketing and payment of illegal kickbacks over several of its drugs. The drugs include the already-recalled Bextra (an anti-inflammatory), Geodon (anti-psychotic), Zyvox (an anti-biotic) and Lyrica (an anti-epileptic). The $58.2 million settlement is the largest in history for Florida's Medicaid Control Unit. Approximately $9.7 million will be sent to Florida's General Revenue Fund, and another $10.8 million will be sent to Florida's Medicaid program. Pfizer agreed to pay various states and the federal government $1 billion in civil damages to compensate Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and other government insurance programs that paid for drugs specifically marketed and promoted by Pfizer for uses not approved by the FDA. Drug makers are prohibited by law from marketing or promoting drugs for uses that have not been approved by the FDA.
In addition, a separate $33 million civil settlement was reached with 43 states, including Florida, over allegations that Pfizer engaged in deceptive practices when it promoted and marketed the anti-psychotic adult medication Geodon for uses not approved by the FDA, including using the drug at higher than FDA-approved levels and also for use in children.
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