"Pfizer - Genotropin: only one more hurdle for Rost to clear"
I figured I'd use PharmaGossip's headline so this didn't look self serving . . .
This is how PharmaGossip continued:
A Massachusetts U.S. District Court judge has dismissed former Pfizer marketing vp Peter Rost’s whistle-blowing case against his former employers, Pharmacia and Pfizer.
Rost had alleged that Genotropin, a human-growth-hormone brand, was sold illegally by Pharmacia to anti-aging quacks who falsely promised wealthy clients the fountain of youth. New York’s Pfizer acquired Pharmacia in April 2003 despite Rost’s warnings about the “off-label”—meaning legally unapproved—sales, he claims.
In the Aug. 31 ruling, Judge Joseph Tauro wrote that for his suit to succeed, Rost needed to show he had evidence that Pharmacia and Pfizer had orchestrated the submitting of bills to the government for reimbursement for “off-label” Genotropin treatments. For instance, it would be legal to bill Medicaid for a Genotropin prescription for a child suffering from stunted growth (an “on-label” use); but it would be illegal if Medicaid was billed by someone using the drug to jump-start their libido or get smoother skin.
Tauro wrote that Rost had no evidence—such as an actual false bill—of such a scheme. Therefore, Tauro ruled, the case must be dismissed in its entirety.
Pfizer on Thursday hailed the decision.
“Rost’s complaint fails to identify one actual false claim for reimbursement for an off-label use of Genotropin,” said Paul Fitzhenry, a Pfizer representative. “The court’s decision brings to a close the suit he filed and its allegations.”
Rost, as usual, was upbeat last week.
He noted that the suit had been dismissed only because he had failed to meet one technical test—evidence of a specific bill. On three other issues, the judge had agreed with Rost. (Those issues were: that Rost, not Pfizer, was the first to disclose the off-label sales; that Rost’s claims were based upon his own knowledge of Genotropin sales and not Pfizer’s disclosures to the government; and that Rost, not Pfizer, was the original source of the disclosures.)
As such, Rost said Thursday, he intends to amend his complaint to address the evidence deficiency and will appeal. “Pfizer has a database with all these claims in which they have refused to give to us. We can ask them to produce it,” he said.
Looks like the endgame approaches. It ain't over yet!
/End quote from BrandWeek/
As for me and my lawyers we are pleased. We have overcome the most difficult challenges Pfizer threw in our way and the Court has completely rebutted all the lies Pfizer told the press in December 2005. Now we need to present one false claims case . . .