Pfizer-Nigeria lawsuit talks fall apart

Irreconcilable differences? Settlement talks in the litigation over a meningitis drug trial have broken down, government attorneys said. "They don't seem to appreciate the enormity (of what) we believe happened," one of the lawyers told the Associated Press. For its part, Pfizer says it's willing to continue talks. "Unsubstantiated allegations coupled with exorbitant monetary demands, however, will not lead to any resolution," a spokesman said in a statement.

Nigerian officials say Pfizer's trial of the meningitis drug Trovan was illegal, and it caused death and severe disability in some children who participated. Collectively, the federal and state governments are seeking $9 billion in damages, and Pfizer executives are named in criminal charges. Pfizer, however, says the children were injured by the meningitis itself, not by the drug. The company successfully blocked the criminal prosecution yesterday by obtaining an injunction to prevent police from arraigning Pfizer officials.

- read the AP report for more
- here's an item on the injunction

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