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New York will get $8.5 million as its share of a $491 million settlement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. over the drug company’s promotion of off-label use of a transplant drug, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
The case centers on Wyeth’s promotion of Rapamune, a drug the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved only for kidney transplant patients, and not for use by recipients of other donated organs. Transplant patients need to take drugs such as Rapamune that tamp down immune responses to stop their own immune systems from attacking donor organs.
Wyeth agreed to pay 49 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government $257.4 million in damages and civil penalties and $233.6 million in criminal fines and forfeitures to settle charges first leveled in whistleblower suits filed in 2005 in Pennsylvania and 2007 in Oklahoma.
All but $197,000 of New York’s $8.5 million share of the Rapamune settlement cash is marked for the state’s Medicaid program.
Pfizer Inc., which acquired Wyeth in 2009, continues to market Rapamune.
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