Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Pfizer Accused Of Manipulating Neurontin Studies

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Thursday, October 09, 2008 12:02 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA & Prescription Drugs, Neurontin, Pfizer, Warner-Lambert Co, Epilepsy, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Merck, Vioxx, Dangerous Drugs, Drug Products, Defective Drugs


IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons / Gabapentin (Brand Name Neurontin) / author: Fvasconcellos

Pfizer suppressed medical studies that did not support the drug maker’s campaign to boost sales of it epilepsy drug, Neurontin, according to experts hired by plaintiffs suing the company.

Documents filed in a federal court in Boston yesterday suggest Pfizer influenced Neurontin’s negative reports to boost sales until 2003, by postponing the publishing or altering the conclusion of studies that found no substantive evidence that the drug was an effective treatment option for various off label uses besides epilepsy.

In 2004, Pfizer agreed to pay $430 million to settle off-label marketing allegations involving Neurontin.

Off-label sales surged from 15 percent in 1994 to 94 percent in 2002, said the government. In 2002, Neurontin’s sales were $2.3 billion.

In April, a U.S. District Judge ruled Pfizer may face a class-action lawsuit brought by insurance companies on claims its Warner-Lambert sector falsely marketed Neurontin for uses not approved by the FDA.

Experts estimate 43 million off-label prescriptions have been written for Neurontin as a result of the company’s marketing promotions.

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement of funds spent on prescriptions for unapproved uses. Customers seek money spent on prescription co-payments.

Pfizer contends the lawsuits aren’t class-action worthy and should be tried as individual cases.

This case is the latest in a series of allegations brought against the pharmaceutical industry suggesting it has controlled clinical trial results in an effort to boost drug sales.

Lawyers preparing a case against Merck released 100 pages of internal Merck documents in August showing a drug trial testing the side effects of the soon-to-be launched painkiller, Vioxx, was a thinly-veiled marketing campaign framed as clinical science launched to promote the drug’s introduction to the market.

Vioxx generated approximately $2.5 billion in sales before it was pulled from the market in 2004 after studies showed it caused heart attacks and strokes.

And earlier this year Merck and Schering-Plow Corp came under fire for delaying the release of negative clinical trials of their cholesterol drug Vytorin. The company made available data that was completed in April 2006 but not released until January 2008. #

No Comments

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address


RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes