Whistleblower lawsuit on Pfizer's Lipitor dismissed
A federal judge has knocked the breath out of a former Pfizer executive whose whistleblower lawsuit accused the company of using a variety of shenanigans to pedal more scripts of Lipitor, the cholesterol-lowering drug that became the best-selling med of all time.
The judge dismissed the long-running lawsuit of Jesse Polansky, who contended that Pfizer ($PFE) ignored the guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program on the recommended treatment to broaden the base of patients recommended for treatment with the statin med, Pharmalot reports. U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan said the guidelines are just what they say they are, guidelines, recommendations, nothing more and so Pfizer was not bound to follow them in its marketing of Lipitor.
Polansky declined Pharmalot's request for a comment but Pfizer had something to say. "This dismissal affirms our long-standing belief that this lawsuit had absolutely no merit. The government declined to intervene in the case several years ago. As we have maintained all along, our policies and practices with respect to marketing Lipitor were proper and complied with all relevant laws."
The dismissal comes at the same time that a new whistleblower act is on President Obama's desk that would provide more protection for federal whistleblowers like those from the FDA who raised questions about the agency's approval processes for medical devices.