Pfizer indicted by its e-mails suggesting attempt to suppress research results
Pfizer had just introduced its blockbuster nerve pain medication Neurontin, when a large European study appeared to prove that the drug was not effective. Drug company executives then embarked on a campaign to suppress the data from the study: "We must delay publication of 224 [the European study] as the results were not positive." wrote one Pfizer executive to another, as the company turned a minor but effective epilepsy drug into a higly advertised and very lucrative [but ineffective] chronic pain remedy.
The intra-company e-mails were unearted in the discovery phase of a class-action case against the company. Pfizer denies the charges, however, its credibility was recently impaired when it pled guilty to criminal conduct and paid a $430 million dollar fine for illegally marketing Neurontin for "off label" uses, according to the New York Times. The drug is no longer marketed as a pain killer in the U.S., since a low-profit generic is now available.