Pfizer loses appeal in marketing fraud case

Pfizer Inc. lost a federal appeals court ruling in Massachusetts Wednesday that will require it to pay the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan $142 million.

Kaiser had claimed damages based on the costs it incurred for health-plan beneficiaries who were prescribed the Pfizer drug Neurontin for unapproved uses. Kaiser said prescriptions for the epilepsy drug were for off-label uses based on fraudulent marketing that got doctors to recommend Neurontin for conditions it never effectively treated.

The appeals court also restored claims against Pfizer by insurance giant Aetna and Harden Manufacturing Corp. that previously had been thrown out.

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