Oregon Smacks Down Pfizer

January 9th, 2013

Pfizer wasn’t afraid to overstate the benefits and understate the risks of some of its drugs in 2012. But that didn’t go unnoticed by regulators.

First, the company aired a misleading EpiPen commerical, and then came the deceptive Zmax brochure. The FDA issued warning letters to Pfizer in May and June of 2012 for the misleading claims. The agency said that while the Zmax brochure reported the most common adverse events, it failed to include information regarding risks of cardiac issues and allergic reactions. Regarding the EpiPen, the FDA said the ad overstated the efficacy of it.

This violation is particularly alarming from a public health perspective because the misleading presentation of the use of EpiPen may result in serious consequences, including death.

Now the state of Oregon has stepped in to pin the pharmaceutical giant to the mat. The state is fining Pfizer $1 million and is requiring it to air corrective advertisements for EpiPen on national cable and broadcast television networks.

The state is further requiring Pfizer to submit TV prescription drug ads to the FDA for pre-approval. If the FDA doesn’t pre-approve the ads then Pfizer must go to the Oregon Attorney General to get approval.

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