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Pfizer Settles Class Action Suit for $486 Million
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NEW YORK - JANUARY 26:  A Pfizer sign hangs on the outside of their headquarters after a news conference discussing the planned merger of Pfizer and Wyeth January 26, 2009 in New York City. Pfizer plans to acquire Wyeth for $68 billion creating the world's largest biopharmaceutical company.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Photo courtesy of U.S. News. 

Summary: Pfizer has agreed to pay $486 million to settle a class action lawsuit with investors. 

After over a decade of fighting a lawsuit, drug giant Pfizer said on Tuesday that it has agreed to pay $486 million to settle. The company was sued by investors in 2004 for allegedly failing to disclose the dangers of its bestselling pain relievers, Celebrex and Bextra.

  
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The settlement resolves accusations from investors who claimed Pfizer failed to disclose that Celebrex and Bextra could increase a patient’s risk of heart attack or stroke. The investors who owned stock between October 31, 2001 to October 19, 2005 filed a class action lawsuit, and they said that Pfizer had concealed related tests that dated back as early as 1998.

Rival company Merck withdrew a similar drug because of heart risks, which triggered an inquiry into Bextra and Celebrex. The investors said that when Pfizer’s tests finally were made public, the prescription drugs’ stock plummeted by roughly $70 billion.

In the end, Pfizer pulled Bextra from the market in the United States.

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In September 2009, Pfizer settled with the federal government for $2.3 billion after a probe into the marketing of its drugs.

A spokesman for Pfizer said that the settlement is not an admission of guilt.



“This resolution reflects a desire by the company to avoid the distraction of continued litigation and focus on the needs of patients and prescribers,” Pfizer said.

Plaintiffs had sued Pfizer and its executives, including former Chief Executive Henry McKinnell.

What do you think of Pfizer and this case? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Reuters



 

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