Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, which is the largest health insurer in Texas, has filed suit in federal court in Texas against Pfizer Inc. for deceptive marketing of drugs and for illegal kickbacks to doctors.
The suit alleges that Pfizer promoted the sale of Bextra, an anti-inflammatory drug, for several uses that the government had declined to approve because of safety concerns. Pfizer also is accused of illegally promoting two other drugs – Geodon, an antipsychotic, and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug.
Blue Cross is claiming that it lost money because it paid for prescriptions that should not have been written. Pfizer denies the allegations, but settled a similar case with the federal government and more than 40 states last year. In that case, Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion, the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Justice Department, to resolve similar allegations.