- Wyeth, a Pfizer subsidiary since 2009, was accused of encouraging physicians to prescribe the immunosuppressant Rapamune (sirolimus) off-label. The drug's indication is for preventing rejection in kidney-transplant patients.
- Although Pfizer did not admit any wrongdoing, it agreed to the $35 million settlement.
- Physicians in 42 states were encouraged to use Rapamune to prevent organ rejection in patients who had undergone various types of organ transplantation.
According to the allegations, the deceptive marketing practices that led to punitive action against Pfizer/Wyeth went beyond simple one-on-one communication with physicians. In fact, Wyeth was accused of orchestrating an entire promotional campaign that included presentation of misleading data, conducting studies at hospitals and transplant centers designed to encourage off-label use, and using physicians to give talks highlighting questionable data.
Pfizer stated that as a company it is committed “to ensuring that its promotional practices meet or exceed all legal requirements and the expectations of the people we serve.”