Pfizer Inc. announced it will pay claimants $894 million to settle claims that its drugs Bextra and Celebrex increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to a story on Bloomberg.com. There are around 8000 suits pending against Pfizer Inc., and $745 million of the settlement will go to settle about 90% of those suits.
Pfizer has agreed to pay $60 million to settle claims that the company illegally promoted Bextra. That settlement would go to 33 states and the District of Columbia. The company will also pay $89 million to settle consumer fraud suits linked to the drug.
The two drugs, Celbrex and Bextra, are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Bextra is no longer sold, but Celebrex continues to be widely used. Pfizer claims research shows that there is no risk to the heart when Celebrex is taken at lower dosages. A thorough study of Celebrex is being undertaken, but the results will not be available for several years.