A bad day for pharma on the newswires:
Two subsidiaries of Pfizer Inc. have agreed to pay fines totaling $34.7 million for offering a kickback to recommend company drugs and for illegally promoting the human growth hormone product Genotropin for non-approved uses, federal prosecutors announced Monday. Prosecutors allege that Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. Inc. offered to overpay a subsidiary of a pharmacy benefit manager by $12.3 million in the hope the company would, in turn, recommend Pharmacia’s drug products to its clients.
Pharmacy benefit managers act as middlemen between pharmaceutical companies and health insurers, often making product recommendations to health plans based on a drug’s efficacy or cost-effectiveness.
The prosecutors said that starting in 2005 a hospital in Volgograd, 1,100 km (675 miles) southeast of Moscow, tested the vaccines on 112 children between one and two years of age without informing their parents first.