Pfizer settles marketing allegations

September 2, 2009 8:06:20 AM PDT
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that he's settled deceptive marketing accusations against the giant pharmaceutical firm Pfizer.The company will pay $33 million to North Carolina and 42 other states to resolve allegations that it improperly marketed the antipsychotic drug Geodon for off-label uses.

Off-label means using a drug for treatments that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Cooper alleged Pfizer marketed Geodon for use in children and at higher doses than the FDA recommends.

The settlement is part of a larger deal announced by Pfizer to get out from under a criminal investigation launched by the Justice Department.

Pfizer will pay $2.3 billion in fines to settle illegal marketing allegations involving several of its medications including Geodon, Bextra, Zyvox, and Lyrica.

Money from the federal settlement will go to Medicare, the military's Tricare health plan, and Medicaid.

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