Pfizer paid over $430 million in Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement in 2004 after pleading guilty to two violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The fine was meted out after it was found that Pfizer marketed the epilepsy drug Neurontin, also known as gabapentin, for unapproved off-label uses like bipolar disorder ADHD, and migraine.
In 2009, Pfizer was at it again but on a mammoth scale. In what the DOJ referred to as the "Largest Healthcare Fraud Settlement in Its History," Pfizer paid a total of $2.3 billion in fines to absolve it from criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products.
In its report, the DOJ also required Pfizer to enter into a "corporate integrity agreement" with the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Sciences (DHHS) to ensure that Pfizer won't conduct fraudulent business acts again.
The main part of the DOJ 2009 report read: "Pharmacia & Upjohn Company has agreed to plead guilty to a felony violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for misbranding Bextra with the intent to defraud or mislead. Bextra is an anti-inflammatory drug that Pfizer pulled from the market in 2005. Under the provisions of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a company must specify the intended uses of a product in its new drug application to FDA. Once approved, the drug may not be marketed or promoted for so-called 'off-label' uses – i.e., any use not specified in an application and approved by FDA.
"Pfizer promoted the sale of Bextra for several uses and dosages that the FDA specifically declined to approve due to safety concerns. The company will pay a criminal fine of $1.195 billion, the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the United States for any matter. Pharmacia & Upjohn will also forfeit $105 million, for a total criminal resolution of $1.3 billion.
"In addition, Pfizer has agreed to pay $1 billion to resolve allegations under the civil False Claims Act that the company illegally promoted four drugs – Bextra; Geodon, an anti-psychotic drug; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug – and caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs for uses that were not medically accepted indications and therefore not covered by those programs. The civil settlement also resolves allegations that Pfizer paid kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe these, as well as other, drugs."
The federal share of the civil settlement is $668,514,830 and the state Medicaid share of the civil settlement is $331,485,170. That was the largest civil fraud settlement in history against a pharmaceutical company.
This report, originally published by the DOJ in September 2o09, was reposted by Global Research on January 18 because of its relevance in assessing the current actions of Pfizer, which is promoting its messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, and other Big Pharma companies in promoting products that may be detrimental to public health and safety.
Even as Pfizer gained some measure of respectability because of its distinction as the leading manufacturer of COVID vaccines in North America, the company continues to be hounded by negative reports.
At the top of this is the news that Pfizer had received more than 1,200 reports of vaccine deaths and tens of thousands of reported adverse events from December 2020 to the end of February 2021. There were also reports of spontaneous abortions out of 270 pregnancies and over 2,000 cases of cardiac disorders. (Related: Pfizer's vaccine studies are based on FRAUD and put lives in danger, warns former Pfizer vice president.)
Pfizer scrambled to spin the story and clean up its image.
"The figure of 1,223 fatalities among 158,893 adverse effects reflect 'spontaneous' reports from sources that include health officials in several countries, without any verification of the cause, among the millions of vaccinated people worldwide during that period," Pfizer spokesperson Dervila Keane told AFP. "It does not indicate specific causes of death and the fatalities may include people with 'various illnesses' such as cancer or cardiovascular disease."
As Pfizer and other Big Pharma like Johnson $ Johnson and Merck continue to rake in billions in profits in the midst of the pandemic, they are being seen as profit-driven by the people. A survey showed only 28 percent of Americans have a good opinion of Big Pharma. The truth is, Big Pharma is the country's second most hated industry in America after the tobacco industry.
According to consumer watchdog group Public Citizen, Big Pharma is also the biggest defrauder of the Federal Government under the False Claims Act. Pfizer is a prime example.
Watch the video below to learn more about how Pfizer paid the biggest fine for healthcare fraud in U.S. history.
This video is from the SILVIEW.media channel on Brighteon.com.