Pfizer 1 Aetna 0 – Score in Off Label Drug Legal Case – Kaiser Used Education to Change Prescribing Practices and Ma
Posted Jan 10 2010 3:12pm
Pfizer has already paid a settlement here on the marketing of Neurontin with a settlement in 2004 with the Department of Justice. According to the article, Aetna is still reviewing the response. I guess when you look here you see 2 different reactions to dealing with off label marketing by a pharmaceutical company and how to deal and handle it, one uses education (the non profit) and the other company (for profit health insurance) just goes to court. Is this the difference between bean counter thinking and better healthcare? From reading this article it certainly appears that way.
In looking at the 2 different business models here, I don’t think there’s any difficulty in seeing the very 2 different paths taken in this instance and the Kaiser suit so far still stands. Aetna didn’t show an attempt to solve the problem it appears, where I see Kaiser using education also having a staff of better informed clinicians when completed, anyone argue that one?
This is one big area of healthcare where there’s a lot of potential savings and health insurance companies might study this model as this is what they are professing for the rest of healthcare, and let’s avoid having more pots calling the kettles black. By containing legal expenses that don’t contain internal solutions taken to correct, there could be more funds around to dedicate to actual patient care. As the old saying goes, if you are not part of a solution, then you are part of the problem. BD
Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drugmaker, won dismissal of fraud claims by Aetna Inc. and Guardian Life Insurance Co. in a lawsuit over its marketing of the epilepsy drug Neurontin.
U.S. District Judge Patti Saris in Boston yesterday dismissed Aetna’s and Guardian’s claims that they were forced to overpay for Neurontin prescriptions because Pfizer misled them into believing the drug was effective for “off-label” uses. Saris declined to throw out similar claims against Pfizer by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.
The insurers’ suits are part of a group of claims involving Pfizer’s sales and marketing of Neurontin that have been consolidated in front of Saris.
Pfizer paid $430 million in 2004 to settle off-label marketing allegations involving Neurontin with the U.S. Justice Department.