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Pfizer has been ordered to pay a record $2.3 billion (£1.42 billion) penalty for unlawful prescription-drug promotions involving US doctors.
The US Justice Department explained that the penalty includes a $1.2 billion dollars (£735 million) criminal fine, the biggest in US history.
To promote its drugs, Pfizer had invited doctors to “consultant” meetings at resort locations, paying their expenses and providing perks such as golf, massages and “other activities”.
Mike Loucks, the US attorney in Massachusetts, said that Viagra-maker Pfizer was continuing to break the law even as it was negotiating prosecution deals on similar past misconduct.
This latest penalty is the fourth such settlement in the last decade, and Mr Loucks said the government will monitor the company’s conduct for the next five years.
The massive payout includes $102 million (£62 million) for six corporate whistleblowers who brought the misconduct to light.
Copyright Press Association 2009