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National Pain Report: Neurontin ‘Snake Oil’ Lawsuit Upheld

Pat Anson, Editor, National Pain Report, December 11, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court this week let stand a jury verdict that ordered Pfizer to pay $142 million to Kaiser Foundation Health for the illegal marketing of Neurontin, an anti-seizure drug that is widely prescribed off-label to treat fibromyalgia and migraines.

The decision clears the way for lawsuits by Aetna and other health insurers against Pfizer for the off-label promotion of Neurontin, a drug once infamously described by a top Pfizer executive as “snake oil.”

The cases stem from a 2004 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, in which Pfizer agreed to pay $430 million dollars in fines to resolve misdemeanor criminal and civil charges for the marketing of Neurontin, which is also known by its generic name, gabapentin.

After the settlement, Kaiser and other insurers sued Pfizer to recover the cost of Neurontin prescriptions they paid for, but were prescribed for conditions the drug did not effectively treat.

You can read the entire article at National Pain Report.

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