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Pfizer's Neurontin settlement.

Pfizer Inc. subsidiary Warner-Lambert has agreed to plead guilty and pay more than $430 million to settle charges that it improperly promoted off-label uses for its drug Neurontin. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1993 to treat epilepsy, but Warner-Lambert also promoted its use in bipolar disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and migraine, among other conditions. "Warner-Lambert promoted Neurontin even when scientific studies had shown it was not effective," the Justice Department said in a statement. "The pharmaceutical company falsely promoted Neurontin as effective for treating bipolar disease, even when a scientific study demonstrated that a placebo worked as well or better than the drug." Warner-Lambert also misled doctors about Neurontin's use during supposed "independent medical education" events, the statement said. "In at least one instance, when unfavorable remarks were proposed by a speaker, Warner-Lambert offset the negative impact by planting people in the audience to ask questions highlighting the benefits of the drug."
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Title Annotation:Policy & Practice
Author:Frieden, Joyce
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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