Pfizer settles Rezulin cases
Bloomberg reported on April 1 that Pfizer had resolved all but 3 of the 35,000 pending claims arising out of its withdrawn diabetes drug Rezulin. It reportedly paid about $750 million dollars. Rezulin was approved by the FDA and administered to almost 2 million patients before it was linked to at least 63 deaths caused by liver failure. It was then withdrawn from the market.
Pfizer insisted on keeping the individual settlement amounts confidential, but they totaled less than the company had reserved. The company suffered significant trial losses in 2001 and 2002, when it initially played hardball with the pending claims. Since the drug was initially approved by the inept and manufacturer-dominted FDA, it is probable that no Michigan victims were compensated in the settlement. Michigan adopted a tort "reform" that gave immunity to manufacturers who secured FDA approval--perhaps even if the company relied on false or inadequate research.