Pfizer Inc. Destroyed Celebrex Files, Investors Claim

Published: Nov 27, 2012

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) destroyed documents about the development of its Celebrex and Bextra arthritis drugs while denying the existence of electronic databases containing millions of files about the medicines, lawyers for some of the company’s investors said in court filings. Pfizer officials should be sanctioned for denying they had a centralized filing system for Celebrex and Bextra files and discarding records after investors filed suit accusing the company of misleading them about the drugs’ prospects, shareholders’ attorneys said in a court filing that was unsealed Nov. 16 in federal court in Manhattan. Pfizer executives later acknowledged the company maintained more than 2,000 so-called e- Rooms that stored documents about the drugmaker’s products, the lawyers said. “Defendants destroyed documents in bad faith and compounded their initial misconduct by making false statements about the existence of centralized databases,” Jay Eisenhofer, a New York-based attorney serving as lead counsel in the investors’ securities-fraud suit, said in the filing. Last month, Pfizer officials agreed to pay $164 million to settle claims by a separate group of investors that the drugmaker distorted the results of a study about Celebrex’s safety profile.

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