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Pfizer settles Nigerian Trovan case


3 August 2009

An agreement has been reached between Pfizer and Nigeria's Kano State government following the long-running Trovan cases, which stem from the accusation that Pfizer illegally tested Trovan on children in 1996 during a meningitis outbreak. According to various third party reports (Thompson & Bloomberg), 11 children died and others were left with serious disabilities including blindness, deafness and brain damage.

Under the terms of the agreement outlined in a joint statement, Kano State will drop the Trovan cases and Pfizer will pay more than $70 million, which includes the reimbursement of Kano State's legal fees.

"We have been a partner with the people and governments of Nigeria for more than 50 years," Brad Lerman, Pfizer's Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, explained in the statement. "The company believe that a mutually agreeable resolution is the best way to continue that relationship and allow Pfizer and the Nigerian governments to focus on what matters — improving healthcare for all Nigerians."

With regards to the Trovan cases in Nigeria, Pfizer has denied any wrongdoing or liability in connection with the clinical study conducted in 1996. Despite this, the company has pledged financial support (a maximum of $35 million) to those who participated in the clinical study in the form of a Healthcare/Meningitis Fund. The company will also reimburse Kanto State for its legal costs and will commit $30 million over two years to support healthcare initiatives chosen by the Kano State government.