CalPERS Files Lawsuit Claiming Pfizer Misled About Pain Medications
On Thursday, CalPERS and other entities filed a lawsuit against Pfizer for securities fraud, alleging that the company misled them about the safety of pain medications Celebrex and Bextra, Reuters reports.
Additional plaintiffs in the case are CalSTRS -- the California State Teachers' Retirement System -- and several mutual funds.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to attorney fees and interest.
Details of Pfizer Losses
After safety concerns about the pain medications were made public, revenues from Celebrex and Bextra decreased byÂ more thanÂ $2 billion during the first nine months of 2005. According to allegations by investors, Pfizer's stock market value decreased by $68.4 billion between October 2004 and October 2005.
CalPERS, Other Groups Opt Out of Larger Class Action Suit
In September, CalPERS and the other groups decided to opt out of a long-running shareholder class action suit against Pfizer.
According to Reuters, organizations increasingly are opting out of securities class actions if they think that can do better by suing on their own or in a smaller group.
Pfizer's Response to New Lawsuit
Pfizer said it will fight the new lawsuit, as well as the larger class action suit and another opt-out case.Chris Loder -- Pfizer spokesperson -- said that both drugs "were rigorously studied and tested" by the company and independent experts and that the U.S. government, investors, physicians and patients received accurate information on the drugs' risks and benefits (Raymond, Reuters, 11/16). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.