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The government awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct such as contract fraud and environmental, ethics, and labor violations. In the absence of a centralized federal database listing instances of misconduct, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is providing such data. We believe that it will lead to improved contracting decisions and public access to information about how the government spends hundreds of billions of taxpayer money each year on goods and services. Report an instance of misconduct »
Sandler et al. v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Date: 12/16/2005 (Date of Complaint)
Misconduct Type: Government Contract Fraud
Enforcement Agency: Non-Governmental
Contracting Party: Health and Human Servs.
Court Type: Civil
Synopsis: The Justice Department, along with several states, joined a False Claims Act lawsuit accusing Wyeth Pharmaceuticals of illegal off-label marketing of Rapamune, a drug used to prevent rejection of kidney transplants. The lawsuit was filed in 2005 by two former Wyeth employees, Marlene Sandler and Scott Paris, who claimed they were encouraged to promote the drug for heart, lung, liver and pancreas transplants, even though the Food and Drug Administration had only approved it for kidney transplants. The lawsuit also claimed that Wyeth singled out two hospitals with a higher proportion of black patients – the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York and the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia – for off-label promotions. In a financial statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in November 2012, Pfizer (which acquired Wyeth in 2009) disclosed that it had taken a $491 million charge for an agreement in principle with the Justice Department to settle the lawsuit. In July 2013, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $490.9 million and plead guilty to a misbranding violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.