Pfizer to pay Ore. $3.3M in antibiotic case

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay Oregon more than $3.3 million to settle claims that the company used misleading statements and studies to market an antibiotic.

The settlement announced Tuesday by state Attorney General John Kroger comes after a two-year state investigation of Pfizer's marketing of Zyvox, which is used to treat pneumonia and bacterial skin infections.

The state says Pfizer used "unreliable and unsubstantiated claims" in marketing Zyvox as a better choice than a cheaper, generic antibiotic. The state Justice Department says Pfizer's sales representatives distributed copies of flawed clinical studies throughout Oregon to support the marketing claims.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/oWUCwe ) that Pfizer denied the allegations. In a statement, the company said it was "pleased to resolve this investigation and avoid the further time and cost of litigation."

The newspaper says the Oregon settlement builds on a 2009 multi-state settlement that involved Zyvox and other drugs.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com