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State part of $42.9M settlement with drug maker Pfizer

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:20 p.m. HST, Dec 12, 2012

Hawaii, along with 31 other states and Washington, D.C., has reached a $42.9 million settlement with Pfizer Inc., resolving allegations that the pharmaceutical giant illegally promoted certain drugs, the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced today.

Hawaii's share of the settlement is $688,105.

The states alleged that Pfizer made misleading and unsubstantiated claims to broaden the use of Zyvox, an antibacterial agent approved to treat certain types of infections.

The drug is approved to treat a type of pneumonia caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and related skin infections. In addition, the manufacturer allegedly used unfair and deceptive practices in promoting the drug Lyrica for off-label use. 

As part of the settlement, the drug company agreed to cease making any false, misleading, or deceptive claims when comparing the efficacy or safety of Zyvox to vancomycin and promoting any Pfizer product for off-label uses; among other stipulations.

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