Two Pfizer subsidiaries, Pharmacia & Upjohn Company, Inc. and Pharmacia & Upjohn Company LLC, have settled criminal and civil charges related to the promotion of their human growth hormone product, Genotropin.
The first unit agreed to plea guilty to offering a kickback to a pharmacy benefits manager and will pay a criminal penalty of $19.68 million. The second subsidiary has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and will pay $15 million in civil fines and penalties to resolve charges that illegally promoted Genotropin for off-label uses.
A former Pfizer vice president turned whistleblower was angered by the praise for Pfizer for self-reporting, contending that “Pfizer would have done nothing if I didn’t twist its arm.” Corporate Crime Reporter says it was whistleblower Peter Rost’s False Claims Act suit that triggered the Justice Dept. investigation.