TOPEKA – (May 25, 2022) – A biopharmaceutical company has been ordered to pay more than $85,000 in restitution to Kansas consumers following an investigation into the company’s business and advertising practices involving its copayment coupon program, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.
The settlement resolves allegations that Pfizer, Inc., deceptively marketed its copayment coupon program for its Estring, Quillivant XR and Quillichew ER (“Quillivant”), and Flector Patch products. Pfizer distributed coupons promising consumers would pay “no more than $15 or $20,” for example, for prescriptions without clearly and conspicuously disclosing the material terms and conditions as required by the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.
The company's copayment coupons stated in large, clear text that eligible consumers would “PAY NO MORE THAN” certain amounts out-of-pocket. In fact, consumers frequently paid significantly more because of limits on total savings that were not prominently disclosed.
Schmidt’s office opened an investigation into Pfizer’s marketing of its copayment coupons to Kansas consumers following the receipt of information that consumers obtained a deceptive Estring copayment coupon. The coupon included the deceptive language “PAY NO MORE THAN $15.” The company has since changed the text of the Estring, Quillivant, and Flector Patch copayment coupons to explain that patients could “pay as little as” a listed amount.
The settlement requires Pfizer to pay $85,564.01 in restitution to Kansas consumers. No Kansan is entitled to more than one restitution payment. Kansans eligible for restitution will be contacted by Pfizer directly, with no action necessary on their part. The consent order and final judgment was approved by Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson.
Consumers who want to report a deceptive advertisement of prescription drugs, including a deceptive copayment coupon, or others who have other consumer complaints, can reach the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-432-2310 or online at www.InYourCornerKansas.org. A copy of the consent judgment can be found at www.InYourCornerKansas.org/judgments.