Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General


State of Georgia Recovers Medicaid Funds as Part of Global Settlement with Pfizer, Inc.

October 21, 2011

Attorney General Sam Olens announced today that the State of Georgia has reached a settlement with Pfizer, Inc., a major pharmaceutical manufacturer incorporated and with its principal place of business in New York.  The settlement concludes a government investigation into allegations that the company engaged in illegal off-label marketing schemes to promote the sales of its urology drug Detrol for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The settlement will return $192,389.00 to the state’s Medicaid program.

Detrol was FDA approved in March 1998 for the treatment of overactive bladder with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency.   The settlement resolves allegations that Pfizer’s promotional activities were designed by the company to increase the prescribing of Detrol for uses in men for which it was not approved. These uses included treatment for benign prostate hyperplasia, bladder outlet obstruction and lower urinary tract symptoms.  The investigation began with a whistleblower lawsuit filed by two former Pfizer employees, the relators, in U.S. District Court in Boston, Massachusetts

The settlement is the result of a joint investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the U.S. Department of Justice, the relators’ attorneys, and a State Team of representatives from the Medicaid Fraud Control Units.   The total value of the national civil settlement is $14 million, with $5,576,923.00 designated as Medicaid program recovery.  The remaining portion of the civil recovery is for damages to federally-funded health care programs (Medicare, TRICARE and the Department of Defense).