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BOSTON – Pfizer Inc. and Mylan Specialty LP – the manufacturer and marketer for EpiPen, respectively – will pay Massachusetts a total of $625,000 to settle allegations of running a deceptive television advertisement overstating the effectiveness of the product, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced last week.
In separate consent judgments, the companies are required to submit new ad campaigns for EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. auto-injectors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pre-review. Pfizer manufactures EpiPen and Mylan markets EpiPen under a license agreement with Pfizer. EpiPen is a mobile device used to treat acute allergic reactions.
The investigation into the practices of Pfizer and Mylan, concerning a 60-second advertisement links to a .PDF file televised in April 2012, titled “Max’s Birthday Party,” revealed that the ad misled consumers into believing that EpiPen alone can prevent allergic reactions. After an outcry among parents and allergy advocacy groups, the companies pulled the advertisement.
“While EpiPen is an important medication that can provide emergency assistance for severe allergic reactions, these advertisements put consumers at risk by giving an overall misleading impression that the product alone removes the need to take precautionary measures,” Coakley said in a statement. •