Class Certification Denied in Pfizer Neurontin MDL

Skadden represented Pfizer Inc in its defense of a motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts seeking reconsideration of the court’s denial of class certification in In re Neurontin. In 2009, the court refused to certify a class of third-party payors (TPPs) and consumers who paid for certain off-label prescriptions of Neurontin, a medicine sold by Pfizer.

In this motion, the plaintiffs sought to limit the proposed class to TPPs who paid for Neurontin specifically prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, which both the plaintiffs and the court considered to be their strongest case. On May 17, Judge Patti B. Saris again refused to certify a class, agreeing with Skadden's argument that a finder of fact "would have to perform a granular doctor-by-doctor analysis" to determine which prescriptions were the result of alleged fraudulent marketing.