Pfizer wins patent fight, gets hefty fine on kickback

Pfizer has won the final round in its fight to keep control of its blockbuster drug Lipitor. The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that declared Ranbaxy was infringing on Pfizer's patents for Lipitor, which earned $12.9 billion in revenue last year. An appeals court decided that the patents protected Pfizer until March of 2010.

Also, two subsidiaries of Pfizer have agreed to pay $34.7 million to settle a government investigation of an alleged kickback scheme. Prosecutors said the subs paid an extra $12.3 million in the hope that the PBM would recommend its drug over the therapies of Pfizer's competitors. Pharmacia & Upjohn agreed to plead guilty to one count of offering a kickback.

- read this release on the kickback settlement
- here's the CNN report