PUBLISHED: 7:50 PM on Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Coldberg files judgement against Pfizer Inc.
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg filed a stipulated judgment on Oct. 22 with Pfizer Inc. resolving a five-year investigation by 33 states led by the Oregon Attorney General regarding promotion of their "Cox-2" drugs Celebrex and Bextra. Alaska's share of the $60 million payment will be $580,619.00. The judgment will also limit Pfizer's ability to deceptively market their products.

The investigation was initiated to determine whether Pfizer and another drug company, Pharmacia, (subsequently purchased by Pfizer) misrepresented that Celebrex and Bextra were safer and more effective than traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers. The investigation concluded that Pfizer engaged in an aggressive, deceptive and unlawful campaign to promote Bextra "off label" for uses that had been expressly rejected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Law prohibits pharmaceutical manufacturers from marketing their products for off-label uses.

In 2005, due to safety concerns, Bextra and Vioxx were withdrawn from the market place and FDA required a "black box" safety warning for Celebrex.