August 7, 2014
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced that Missouri will receive $693,000 as part of a national settlement with pharmaceutical maker Wyeth, which is now owned by Pfizer, to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully marketed its immunosuppressant drug, Rapamune. The Missouri complaint was filed in Cole County for violating state consumer-protection laws by misrepresenting the uses of the drug.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves using Rapumune only after kidney transplants. Koster, in his complaint, alleged Wyeth intentionally marketed Rapamune for other types of transplants, including liver and lung transplants. Koster said the FDA had specifically warned against using the drug for those types of transplants as it could be harmful to the patients.
"Consumers trust they are receiving the appropriate medicine to address their health-care need," Koster said. "We will continue to protect Missouri consumers by holding companies that engage in deceptive marketing practices responsible for their behavior."
In addition to paying a nationwide total of $35 million to the 41 states and the District of Columbia involved in the settlement, Pfizer must ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote Rapamune or any Pfizer product.