Whistleblower amends suit against Pfizer

A would-be Pfizer whistleblower has amended his lawsuit against the company, once again alleging marketing infractions related to the company's top-selling drug, Lipitor. According to the suit, the company ignored National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines to broaden the base of patients recommended for treatment with the statin med, Pharmalot reports.

The suit alleges that Pfizer distributed materials and fielded CME slide shows that blurred the lines between various patient groups--some of which were eligible under the guidelines for Lipitor treatment, and some that weren't. The company also allegedly incorporated inaccurate "risk calculators" on its Lipitor website that would falsely classify "many moderate risk patients as moderately high risk, making them eligible" for Lipitor treatment.

There are other detailed allegations, but the gist is that Pfizer allegedly tried to deceive doctors and patients to get more scrips written for Lipitor. As Pharmalot notes, Pfizer has previously denied allegations from this whistleblower, Jesse Polansky, who was director of outcomes management from April 2001 to July 2003. Polansky's first whistleblower suit didn't attract government intervention, hence the amended complaint. The company hasn't yet responded to the latest suit. We'll keep you posted.

- read the Pharmalot story
- see the amended complaint