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Pfizer Company Information

In 1849, Pfizer began with two cousins, Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart, who had backgrounds in confections and chemistry. After the company’s original launch, it expanded and pioneered the mass production of citric acid, which was used by numerous famous soda brands. In 1941, it responded to the government’s request to produce penicillin for WWII soldiers. This active role in the war cemented its place in the medicine industry.

By the early 2000s, Pfizer became a household name. Some of its most popular products treated erectile dysfunction and high cholesterol. Lipitor, Pfizer’s leading statin, topped the competition and quickly became the best-selling drug in history. Today, this pharmaceutical giant operates in 180 countries and earns over $65 billion in revenue.

Drugs Recalled by Pfizer

Through the years, Pfizer has issued numerous recalls for multiple drugs. In 2012, there was an announced recall of the company’s major oral contraceptive Lo/Ovral. An investigation uncovered certain blister packs had an inexact number of tablets, and the four-week supply may have had the tablets placed out of correct sequence. These errors could have led to unwanted pregnancy.

In 2014, there was a recall on two lots of Effexon XR, an antidepressant, and one lot of its generic counterpart. A pharmacist found Tikosyn, a drug used to treat irregular heartbeats, in the same bottle that contained one of these medications. Using Tikosyn and Effexon at the same time could cause great danger to a patient.

One of the most damaging sets of recalls involved Pfizer’s Lipitor. Three recalls have been placed into effect over the last five years. In 2010, numerous complaints emerged over an “uncharacteristic odor” coming from the pill bottles. Although Pfizer claimed the smell was unlikely to cause health concerns, it issued a recall and advised patients to contact their doctors. A second and third recall occurred against atorvastatin, the generic version produced by Ranbaxy. Even though this drug has no ties to Pfizer, more concerns emerged about Lipitor.

Today, word in the medical community hints toward a possible fourth recall against Lipitor for its link to diabetes. A study performed in 2012 found the drug may increase the risk of contracting diabetes by 50 percent in postmenopausal women. However, Pfizer is standing by its product. The FDA set stricter standards and required a label change on all statin drugs. Now, manufacturers must alert patients about a possible increase in blood sugar when using statins.

Verdicts Against Pfizer

popular medications. Over the last decade, the company settled multiple cases of illegal marketing. Bextra, a medicine approved to treat arthritis and menstrual cramps, cost Pfizer $2.3 billion for misbranding the drug. Pfizer told doctors it could be used in high doses to fight acute or surgical pain. However, serious heart and skin risks existed. At the time, it was the largest criminal health care fraud case ever settled. On the same track, Pfizer agreed to a $491 million settlement over illegal marketing of Rapamune, a kidney transplant drug. It was only approved for kidney transplants but was promoted for use during other organ transplant procedures. Financial incentives were used to push the drug as well. Pfizer did not learn from its mistakes and continued down a questionable path. Similar charges were filed against the illegal marketing of its other drugs, including Geodon, Zyvox, Lyrica, Nuerontin, Detrol, and Lipitor.

In 2002, Pfizer was fined $153 million over Medicaid fraud. It was uncovered the manufacturer overcharged patients for drugs like Detrol and Neurontin. These actions placed a black shadow over Pfizer’s integrity.

Recent legal matters continue the long line of trouble facing Pfizer. It paid $164 million in lawsuits claiming it misled investors about Celebrex testing. Another $67.5 million was paid for Prostiq lawsuits. This drug is taken to alleviate depression. However, the public was not made aware of its adverse risks. Pfizer settled lawsuits against Chantix victims for approximately $300 million. In 2009, the FDA added a warning about the heightened risks of developing psychological problems after taking the drug and ordered the manufacturer to conduct additional trials.

Ongoing litigation is still in process regarding other lawsuits against Pfizer. For instance, victims are filing for compensation from drugs like Lipitor, which have caused type 2 diabetes to develop. If you or a loved one has experienced adverse reactions after taking one of Pfizer’s drugs, it is essential to speak with an attorney. You may qualify to receive compensation.

Lawsuits Facing Pfizer

Pfizer has a high number of lawsuits pending against many of its most popular drugs. For example, numerous plaintiffs are filing claims regarding Effexor. This product was originally manufactured by Wyeth, a company acquired by Pfizer in 2009. At one point, it was the world’s top-selling antidepressant. This drug increases risks of birth defects when taken by pregnant women. Since dangers were understated, lawsuits have been filed. Similar proceedings exist against Zoloft, another antidepressant manufactured by Pfizer.

Back in 2006, Chantrix was approved by the FDA as a treatment used to help smokers quit. However, many users claimed it caused depression and suicidal thoughts. It was uncovered the drug company failed to perform adequate clinical trials before bringing the medicine to market. In November 2007, the FDA informed Pfizer about the possible risks of depression. However, the manufacturer waited six months to change its label. Lawsuits allege the drug giant negligently manufactured an unsafe product and did not warn the public of its dangers.

Other lawsuits concern the antibiotic Zithromax. In 2013, the FDA uncovered this drug brought a high risk of developing an irregular heart rhythm. People suffering this injury feel it is necessary to fight for fair compensation. Another drug facing legal action due to an increased risk of heart problems is Celebrex, a drug mostly used by arthritis patients.

Pfizer is also facing multiple Viagra lawsuits. A number of recent studies have linked this drug to an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Harvard Medical School found men who use Viagra may be 84 percent more likely to get diagnosed with melanoma than men who do not use this drug. Once again, lawsuits propose that Pfizer deceived the public and downplayed risks of its drugs.

Some other serious lawsuits against Pfizer involve Lipitor, which is the most profitable drug in the history of the pharmaceutical world. Sales from the product have exceeded $140 billion. Pfizer benefited from a change in marketing laws that allowed drug companies to advertise directly to the public. Pfizer slyly convinced a nation that a pill was necessary to lower cholesterol.

Past Lawsuits Against Pfizer

Pfizer is no stranger to facing lawsuits over their medications. In the 1980s, the company was met with allegations that its arthritis drug Feldene led to gastrointestinal bleeding in the elderly.

In 1986, Pfizer was forced to stop production of artificial heart valves as the death toll continued to rise. In 1991, an investigative task-force charged Pfizer’s Shiley division with withholding safety information from regulators, and that they had continually misled the FDA. Also in 1991, an article from the Wall Street Journal accused the division of falsifying manufacturing records relating to the safety of its artificial valves. Pfizer settled the lawsuits for $205 million, and it paid $11 million for lying to lawmakers.

In 2004 and 2005, Pfizer faced lawsuits from patients taking its painkillers, Celebrex and Bextra. Both lawsuits accused Pfizer of withholding information on the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal side effects of the drugs. Such pertinent information, important to consumers for their own safety, was not featured on the warning label of the painkillers. Pfizer settled these lawsuits for $894 million.

Also in 2004, Pfizer faced lawsuits related to its recently acquired diabetes medication, Rezulin. The medication had been linked to the deaths of scores of patients. The lawsuits were settled for $60 million.

For over 50 years, Pfizer has been met with lawsuits concerning its business practices. It has been hit with anti-trust lawsuits as recently as 2012. It has been accused of fixing antibiotic prices. The company has been accused of fixing prices for independent pharmacies. Pfizer plead guilty to criminal charges of international price-fixing. In 2002, Pfizer’s CEO was subpoenaed to testify that the company had defrauded Medicaid by overcharging for Lipitor. Many times since 1991, Pfizer has been forced to settle lawsuits based on its misleading advertising. It has also been accused of giving kickbacks to doctors in order to secure more prescriptions of their medications over the competition.

Type-2 diabetes is chronic, incurable illness. People who are diagnosed with type-2 diabetes face a shortened life expectancy and a restrictive diet. They must constantly keep up with blood glucose monitoring and costly medical treatments. Pfizer is a company with a history of questionable, sometimes even criminal, business practices. They have, in the past, neglected their duty to warn the public about the potential dangers of using their medications. They have been found guilty of bribing doctors to increase sales of their drugs, all the while misleading regulators about the side effects.

If you have taken Lipitor and been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes or other blood sugar issues, Pfizer may be to blame. The company may be legally responsible for the cost of glucose monitoring equipment, the cost of ongoing medical treatment, and for the loss of income that comes with a chronic disability. The company may be liable for additional damages due to lowering your quality of life and for lowering your life expectancy. The corporation could be liable for your pain and suffering. Don’t let Pfizer get away with misleading the public. Find out about your legal options now. Call us on (800) 349-0000 for a free phone consultation. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

After an accident, the responsible party's insurance company may try to reduce the claim amount. Commonly, insurance adjusters are trained to get information from the injured to assist in reducing the claim. Though some insurers are less guilty of this practice than others, it is important to realize that insurance companies are profit-oriented corporations and reducing claims results in increased profits for shareholders. This can create a situation for the injured in which they are offered a settlement that does not truly reflect the damages suffered. If you accept this settlement, you lose the ability to get more money should your injuries require further medical treatments. It is critical that victims get legal assistance in any personal injury case, and The Doan Law Firm is prepared to fight relentlessly for your rights.

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