Pfizer Pays $38 Million for Stealing Drug Secrets
Pfizer has been ordered to pay $38 million to a medical research nonprofit company for stealing their trade secrets on a pain relief medication.
The Superior Court jury reached the verdict Monday in a 2004 lawsuit filed against Pfizer by the San Bruno nonprofit Ischemia Research and Education Foundation.
The lawsuit said Pfizer in 2002 wanted to use the foundation's database for clinical trials on Bextra, a drug to treat acute pain chiefly caused by arthritis. The drug was eventually taken off the market over concerns it posed a heart risk.
After the New York drugmaker and the foundation could not agree on terms for use of the database, the lawsuit alleged Pfizer arranged a side deal with Ping Hsu, a lead statistician at the foundation. Hsu provided the data without approval, according to the suit.
Pfizer plans to appeal the ruling, made by a Santa Clara judge:
"The company stands by the belief that its conduct was proper," Pfizer said in a written statement Tuesday. "Pfizer continues to believe that it was unjustly caught in a crossfire between (the foundation) and one of its former employees."