Wyeth Pharma Alleged to Target African Americans in Rapamune Marketing Says Whistleblower

The U.S. Justice Department is joining a whistleblower lawsuit accusing Wyeth, a division of Pfizer, of marketing Rapamune, a kidney transplant drug, for unapproved uses and for targeting African Americans. The drug was approved for kidney transplant patients but the lawsuit alleges that the Rapamune sales force was directed to promote the drug for heart, liver, lung, pancreas and islet cell transplants. The whistleblower lawsuits was filed under the Federal False Claims Act by two former Wyeth hospital representatives, Marlene Sanders and Scott Paris. The assertions are that Wueth deliberately targeted two hospitals with mostly African American patients – Philadelphi’s Einstein Medical Center and New York’s SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The lawsuit also alleges that Wyeth offered kickbacks to doctors and hospitals in the form of donations, grants, speaker fees and more to prescribe Rapamune.