Pfizer agreed to pay $55 million to the U.S. government for marketing its drug Protonix, approved to treat erosive esophagitis, for unapproved use. According to the Justice Department, Pfizer promoted Protonix for all forms of gastroesophageal reflux disease even though it is only approved for short-term treatment of erosive esophagitis. Additionally, the Justice Department alleged that the company used continuing medical education materials to promote the drug for off-label uses. In a separate settlement, Pfizer also agreed to pay $42.9 million to 33 states to settle allegations that it deceptively marketed its drugs Zyvox and Lyrica. According to the states, Pfizer marketed Lyrica, which is approved for neuropathic pain treatment, for off-label uses such as chronic back pain and migraines. Additionally, the states alleged that Pfizer deceptively claimed that its antibiotic drug Zyvox was superior to others, despite a lack of medical evidence.
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