Pfizer

Pfizer has agreed to pay around $400m charge for an agreement in principle to resolve a securities class action pending against the company over off-label promotion actions.

The decision was disclosed as the company released its fourth-quarter results.

The agreement is subject to New York federal court approval and has been revealed ahead of a jury trial set for 10 February, reported Reuters.

"This resolution reflects a desire by the company to avoid the distraction of continued litigation and focus on the needs of patients and physicians."

Pfizer spokeswoman Christine Regan Lindenbloom was quoted by Reuters as saying: "This resolution reflects a desire by the company to avoid the distraction of continued litigation and focus on the needs of patients and physicians."

In 2010, a lawsuit was filed against the company and various executives for giving false statements to shareholders regarding its off-label marketing of products such as Bextra.

In addition, the US drugmaker was charged for making misleading statements about different government investigations of those practices, which resulted in a $2.3bn settlement with the US Justice Department in 2009.

A Pfizer spokeswoman said that the firm continues to deny wrongdoing and that the disclosures to investors ‘were appropriate and prepared in good faith’.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd lawyer for the investors Michael Dowd declined to comment on the trial.


Image: Pfizer world headquarters: Photo: courtesy of Jim.henderson.