Company Will Pay $745 Million In Settlements To Conclude 90% Of These Lawsuits
(Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)
An October 17, 2008 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article, "Pfizer to Settle Celebrex and Bextra Suits", broke the news and provided the details:
Pfizer Inc. has agreed in principle to pay $894 million to settle litigation related to its painkillers Celebrex and Bextra.
The bulk of the settlement, $745 million, will resolve 90% of the known personal injury suits that allege the painkillers caused heart attacks and strokes, according to Pfizer, which will take a third-quarter pre-tax charge to earnings of $894 million, a statement provided by the company said.
Attorneys General in 33 states and the District of Columbia, who have filed suits relating to Pfizer's promotion of Bextra, will receive $60 million of the settlement; the remainder, $89 million, will resolve class actions alleging fraud in connection with the promotion of Celebrex and Bextra.
The settlement does not cover securities fraud litigation that has been filed in connection with Celebrex and Bextra.
Pfizer's Celebrex is the last among a group of painkillers called Cox-2 inhibitors that is still sold in the U.S. From the October 17 WSJ article:
"Pfizer stands by the safety and efficacy profile of Celebrex," said Joe Feczko, Pfizer's chief medical officer.
Bextra was recalled in April 2005 by the FDA and Pfizer. At the time, the FDA said it was the increased risk of serious skin reactions that was the reason for Bextra being pulled off the market.
Vioxx was recalled in September 2004 by the FDA and Merck due to cardiovascular side effects. In late 2007 Merck agreed to pay $4.85 billion in a so-called "global settlement" of all personal injury and wrongful death cases involving Vioxx use in the U.S.