On October 8, previously sealed documents were released from a US District Court case in Boston, in which Neurontin users and insurers are suing Pfizer for unjust enrichment and consumer fraud. The documents purport to show that Pfizer executives suppressed negative results about Neurontin even as they launched a marketing campaign to increase utilization of the drug.
Yesterday, Dr. Joseph M. Feczko, Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal, in which he responded to allegations made in the newly unsealed documents. Here is what he said:
“The suggestions made by plaintiffs lawyers in your article “Suit Alleges Pfizer Spun Unfavorable Drug Studies” concerning Pfizer and its medication, Neurontin, paint an inaccurate and incomplete picture. The results of the studies named in your article were made public in professional journals or through presentations at medical conferences.
The suggestion by the lawyers that Pfizer attempted to mislead the medical community about the effectiveness of Neurontin for certain off-label conditions is untrue. In fact, the medical community benefits from the clinical research we conduct to more fully understand our medicines.
Pfizer is leading the industry in registering all of our clinical trials. We have committed to post the results of the registered studies after approval or within one year of completion, and we ensure that physician-investigators in our trials are free to publish their results, regardless of the outcome. Our policy is publicly available on our Web site.
Neurontin is a widely studied drug with literally thousands of published studies concerning its use, and Pfizer supports the dissemination of the results of these studies, regardless of outcome. At Pfizer, science and medical integrity come first and foremost, and your article, driven by the views of self-interested plaintiffs attorneys, is a disservice to doctors and patients.”