Green Light for Aetna in RICO Suit

On April 3, 2013, the First Circuit held that Aetna, Inc. can sue Pfizer, Inc. for its off-label marketing of Neurontin®.  Neurontin® was approved for the treatment of epilepsy, but was allegedly marketed for the treatment of bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain in the mid 1990’s.  Aetna brought RICO and Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Statute claims based on the off-label marketing.

In reinstating the case, the Court found that the plaintiffs were not required to prove that the doctor’s off-label prescriptions were caused by the off-label marketing.  The Court found that Aetna presented sufficient evidence on liability and damages to survive summary judgment.

A copy of the decision is available at In re: Neurontin Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation Aetna, Inc. v. Pfizer, Inc., et al., No. 11-1595, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 6796 (1st Cir. Apr. 3, 2013).

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