Idaho, Washington part of $42.9M settlement over marketing of MRSA drug

Idaho and Washington are among 34 states who reached a nearly $43 million settlement with Pfizer to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully promoted its drugs, Zyvox and Lyrica.

The attorneys general allege that Pfizer engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by making misleading and unsubstantiated claims about the drugs’ superiority to similar, better-known drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Zyvox to treat, among other conditions, pneumonia and skin infections caused by MRSA. Pfizer promoted Zyvox as superior to Vancomycin, an effective and well-known MRSA drug.

Lyrica is FDA-approved for seizure control and nerve pain in diabetics, among other illnesses. Pfizer marketed the drug as a more potent successor to Neurontin, another drug that has been used effectively for years.

In addition, the states say the drug maker engaged in illegal marketing for Lyrica by encouraging its use for the treatment of pain conditions for which the drug is not approved by the FDA.

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