Pfizer Settles Pain Drug Cases for $894M

Pfizer will pay $894 million to settle claims that pain drugs Bextra and Celebrex caused hearts attacks, strokes and other problems for patients.
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said Friday that it has agreed to pay $894 million to resolve claims that pain drugs Bextra and Celebrex caused heart attacks and strokes.

Shares of the New York City-based company were off by 2.7% to $16.52 in recent trading.

The pharmaceutical giant said the payment will settle all of the personal injury cases, consumer fraud cases and state attorneys' general claims regarding its non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Bextra, which was taken off the market in 2005.

Pfizer also said that federal and New York state court judges overseeing the majority of personal injury cases related to pain drug Celebrex have ruled in its favor. Specifically, they found that plaintiffs' lawyers failed to present reliable scientific evidence that Celebrex can cause heart attacks or strokes at its commonly prescribed dose.


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Vioxx, which was taken off the market in 2004 after being linked to heart attacks, was in the same class of drugs as Bextra and Celebrex.

As a result of the rulings, which would have limited the scope of the cases if they'd continued, claims against that pain drug will also be resolved as part of the Bextra settlement.

"We believe that putting these matters substantially behind us should better enable physicians to consider Celebrex purely on the strength of its clinical data, and its ability to meet the diverse needs of patients in pain," said Joseph Feczko, chief medical officer for Pfizer.

Pfizer is set to announce its third quarter results Tuesday, followed by pharma peers Merck and


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on Wednesday and

Eli Lilly

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on Thursday.