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Gabapentin By Any Other Name

Gabapentin, which Pfizer markets as Neurontin, is being used for just about everything these days: it helps you sleep, it mitigates obsessive-compulsive disorder, it helps numb the pain when you rupture a disk, and it's an anti-epileptic. Pfizer has been ordered to pay $142.1 million in damages for violating racketeering laws because of the way it is marketing the drug.

A U.S. District Judge in Boston last week upheld a jury's finding in favor of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals around Pfizer's promoting the drug for unapproved uses. The finding, under RICO, agreed with Kaiser allegations that it was misled by Pfizer into believing that the drug also works for migraines and bipolar disorder. Pfizer, based in New York, is facing more than 300 similar suits and those asserting that the company knew -- but remained mum -- about increased suicide risk associated with Neurontin.



Read the whole story at Bloomberg »

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