Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pfizer Appeals Arrest Order for Company Officials in Nigeria

FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

Dec. 28, 2007
Vol. 4 No. 251

Pfizer Appeals Arrest Order for Company Officials in Nigeria

Pfizer will appeal a Nigerian judge’s arrest order for company officials who were charged with failing to appear in court in a civil and criminal case stemming from a 1996 pediatric clinical trial sponsored by the company.

The company said the arrest order issued in late December by a judge in Kano, Nigeria, “is improper and violates due process because the summonses required by law were not properly served on the defendants.” Pfizer said its local counsel is working to appeal the order, which, according to news reports, was issued by Judge Shehu Atiku for the head of Pfizer in Nigeria, Ngozi Edozien, and senior officials Lare Baale and Segun Donguro.

In May, Nigerian authorities took legal action against the company over the pediatric clinical trial of its oral antibiotic Trovan (trovafloxacin). State officials in Kano reportedly filed eight criminal charges and a civil lawsuit seeking more than $2 billion in damages and restitution.

The lawsuit, which also names eight current and former Pfizer executives, clinical investigators and the company’s local subsidiary as defendants, alleges that the parents were not informed that their children would be taking part in a clinical trial and were not informed that alternative treatments were available.

Pfizer said it “is committed to the rule of law in Nigeria and will vigorously defend itself against the untrue allegations in the government’s lawsuits.”

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