Life Sciences

Pfizer accused of suppressing Neurontin study

Pharma Compliance Alert, October 15, 2008

Pfizer marketing executives allegedly knew Neurontin, an epilepsy drug, did not effectively treat other conditions and delayed the publication or altered the conclusions of studies to boost off-label sales through at least 2003, according to a Boston Globe article.

The information surfaced as part of documents and e-mails turned over for a potential class action lawsuit. Patients and insurers are suing Pfizer for consumer fraud and unjust enrichment, claiming the company marketed the drug for off-label uses.

According to the Globe, the documents show Pfizer kept a European study from being published in its entirety. Instead, Pfizer published the findings with data from other studies in a minor medical journal. At the same time, Pfizer allegedly aggressively promoted a smaller study with positive results.

Pfizer paid $430 million in 2004 for the alleged off-label promotion of Neurontin by Warner Lambert’s Parke-Davis division, which Pfizer later acquired.


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