Maine will share in a $35 million settlement with a major drug manufacturer over claims it advocated using one of its drugs for purposes besides helping prevent organ rejection after kidney transplants.

Several states took action against Pfizer over the use and marketing of the company’s drug Rapamune. The immunosuppressive drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent organ rejection after kidney transplants, but not for use after the transplants of other organs, according to a news release from Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.

The company also was accused of trying to have patients using other medicines switched to Rapamune, the release said.

Maine joined with 40 other states in the settlement, which was reached Wednesday. Maine’s share is $455,000, which will be used for consumer health education.

“Improper marketing of pharmaceuticals is not only a waste of healthcare dollars, it can put patients at risk, as well,” Mills wrote. “I am pleased that Maine was able to work with other state attorneys general to hold this company accountable. These efforts will deter misuse of pharmaceuticals in our state.”

The settlement bars Pfizer from making claims that are not supported by substantial evidence; from promoting non-approved uses of its products; from using financial incentives to have its products used for non-approved purposes; and from influencing prescribing practices at hospitals or transplant centers, including through the funding of clinical trials.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@mainetoday.com

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