PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.: More Lipitor trouble for Pfizer . . . does Lipitor really save lives?

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More Lipitor trouble for Pfizer . . . does Lipitor really save lives?

Yesterday the WSJ reported about the most recent qui tam suit against Pfizer, and now there are people who claim . . . Lipitor doesn't save lives.

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro yesterday filed a third amended complaint in the Polansky v. Pfizer case. The amended complaint provides more detail and additional clarity about the allegations that Pfizer used an orchestrated campaign to increase the of off-label use of Lipitor. To view the complaint, click here.

The lawsuit claims Pfizer illegally boosted sales of its most successful drug, Lipitor, through a scheme designed to convince physicians to prescribe the drug for non-approved uses through ‘education programs.’

The plaintiff, who once served as the company’s director of outcome management studies, was fired after he claims he called into question the companies marketing tactics. The lawsuit alleges Pfizer produced and distributed material for off-label uses, without FDA approval, in an effort to expand its market and profits.

Among the list of alleged violations includes hosting continuing medical education events for physicians, including dinner and valet service, which essentially served as a sales pitch for alternate uses of the drug.

The suit alleges these educational programs deliberately misrepresented the drug's label to encourage Lipitor therapy for people in the moderate-risk category who didn't need the drug. To date Lipitor is the most successful prescription drug worldwide with sales last year of $13.6 billion. To view a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about the lawsuit click here.

But there's more, a new web site claims Lipitor doesn't save lives, especially not among women, and uses graphs such as these ones to prove its point:


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