Consumer Protection

Neurontin Marketing and Sales Practices

Result: $325 million settlement
Year: 2014

In re Neurontin Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation

Lieff Cabraser served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in multidistrict litigation arising out of the sale and marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin, manufactured by Parke-Davis, a division of Warner-Lambert Company, which was later acquired by Pfizer, Inc. Lieff Cabraser served as co-counsel to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (“Kaiser”) in Kaiser’s trial against Pfizer in the litigation. On March 25, 2010, a federal court jury determined that Pfizer violated a federal antiracketeering law by promoting its drug Neurontin for unapproved uses and found Pfizer must pay Kaiser damages up to $142 million.

At trial, Kaiser presented evidence that Pfizer knowingly marketed Neurontin for unapproved uses without proof that it was effective. Kaiser said it was misled into believing neuropathic pain, migraines, and bipolar disorder were among the conditions that could be treated effectively with Neurontin, which was approved by the FDA as an adjunctive therapy to treat epilepsy and later for post-herpetic neuralgia, a specific type of neuropathic pain.

In November 2010, the Court issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on Kaiser’s claims arising under the California Unfair Competition Law, finding Pfizer liable and ordering that it pay restitution to Kaiser of approximately $95 million. In April 2013, the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed both the jury’s and the District Court’s verdicts. In November 2014, the Court approved a $325 million settlement on behalf of a nationwide class of third party payors.