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For Immediate Release
April 6, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CURRAN ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $1,000,000 SETTLEMENT WITH WARNER-LAMBERT


Attorney General J Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the receipt of $1,152,804.65 as the State of Maryland’s share of a $152 million nationwide settlement negotiated last year among state Medicaid Programs, the federal government, and Warner-Lambert LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc., the world’s largest pharmaceutical company. The more than $1 million paid to Maryland will go directly to the State’s Medicaid Program.

The nationwide settlement resolved claims against Warner-Lambert that it illegally promoted its drug Neurontin for uses that were not approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. This marketing campaign resulted in the over utilization of Neurontin from 1995 through 2001. Neurontin was approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of epilepsy. However, during that time more than 90% of the prescriptions for Neurontin were for so-called off label uses. In causing the Medicaid program to pay for these prescriptions, Warner-Lambert caused the State to pay for inappropriate, unnecessary and/or ineffective treatment. Attorney General Curran said, "These national settlements reflect the effectiveness of joint federal and state efforts to police fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicaid program , particularly in the area of prescription drug costs where Medicaid expenditures have been rising at a very rapid rate."

This case was handled by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney General’s Office and by the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units. It is part of a series of significant settlements reached with pharmaceutical companies relating to their marketing and pricing practices.
 

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