PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island will share in a $491 million settlement payout by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced Tuesday. The state’s share will be $201,502.
The settlement is to resolve civil and criminal allegations that Wyeth promoted the sale and use of the kidney transplant drug Rapamune for uses not approved by the FDA.
Rapamune is prescribed to prevent the body from rejecting a donor kidney that has been transplanted into the body. Complaints filed in U.S. District Courts allege Wyeth knowingly promoted the drug for use with other types of organ transplants and for patients who had already taken other immunosuppressant drugs.
“The establishment and enforcement of federal rules and regulations for the marketing and use of drugs is to protect the health and safety of patients, yet pharmaceutical companies continue to bypass federal controls to protect their profits,” said Kilmartin.
Wyeth pled guilty to the criminal charges.
Wyeth is a subsidiary of Pfizer. The pharmaceuticals giant acquired the company after the off-label marketing occurred.