BOSTON (CN) – A federal jury fined Pfizer $141 million for illegally pushing its epilepsy drug Neurontin for unapproved uses, such as treating bipolar disorder and migraines. The jury’s $47 million penalty was automatically tripled under the federal RICO law.
Kaiser Foundation hospitals and health plan claimed Pfizer persuaded them that Neurontin was effective for off-label uses, though it knew it was not.
Doctors may prescribe drugs for off-label uses, but it is illegal for drug companies to push the drugs for that. The U.S. FDA approved Neurontin for epilepsy in 1993.