Jury awards $142 million against Pfizer for drug fraud involving Neurontin
A Massachusetts jury recently smacked Pfizer with a 142 million dollar verdict (don't worry, its probably not even a day's profits for the mammoth drug company). It ruled that the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals were misled into believing that Neurontin--approved only for the treatment of epilepsy--was effective in the off-label [non-approved] treatment of migraine headaches, bipolar disorder and other conditions unrelated to epilepsy. While doctors can prescribe drugs for the treatment of conditions that are not included in their FDA approval, the manufacturer cannot market a drug for off-label treatments. Obviously, the jury concluded that Pfizer misrepresented the effectiveness of off-label uses for this drug--a finding that has been common in the drug industry in recent years. Pfizer claims of course that it will appeal.