Texas AG Sues Pfizer, Tris Pharma For Fraudulent Medication Distribution

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has taken legal action against pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Tris Pharma for allegedly engaging in fraudulent activities through the intentional provision of “adulterated” attention deficit disorder medications to underprivileged children in the Lone Star State.

At the heart of the matter is the drug Quillivant, a potent pediatric ADHD medication. According to Paxton’s lawsuit, Pfizer distributed Quillivant to children on Medicaid despite being fully aware of the drug’s compromised quality due to deficient manufacturing practices.

What makes this case even more disturbing is the alleged response of Pfizer and Tris Pharma when families of young patients raised concerns about the drug’s ineffectiveness. Rather than addressing the concerns, the companies manipulated testing data to bypass Texas drug regulations, according to Paxton.

Per the New York Post, Pfizer had shifted blame onto the children and their caregivers, suggesting that they were not correctly shaking the medication before use. However, Paxton’s investigation uncovered a different, more troubling story.

In a press release, Paxton’s office wrote, “For years, Tris altered the drug’s testing method in violation of federal and state laws to ensure Quillivant passed regulatory hurdles and could continue to be sold. Despite knowing about these serious problems, Pfizer misrepresented to the Medicaid program that Quillivant was in compliance with federal and state law, and concealed from Medicaid decision-makers the fact that Quillivant was an adulterated drug.”

The Attorney General’s lawsuit further accused Pfizer and Tris Pharma of concealing poor manufacturing processes from 2012 to 2018. Even as patients attested to the medication’s inefficacy, the pharmaceutical companies reportedly failed to inform Texas Medicaid providers or decision-makers about the manufacturing issues that were affecting the drug’s efficacy.

Announcing the lawsuit in an X post, Paxton wrote, “I am horrified by the dishonesty we uncovered in this investigation. Pfizer and Tris intentionally concealed and failed to disclose the issues with Quillivant to receive taxpayer funded benefits through Texas Medicaid, defrauding the state and endangering children. Our Civil Medicaid Fraud Division has done an outstanding job holding these pharmaceutical companies accountable.”

In a separate suit that targets Tris Pharma alone, Paxton alleged that the company and its CEO Ketan Mehta further defrauded the Texas Medicaid program by making false and exaggerated claims about the efficacy of another children’s ADHD drug called Dyanavel.

“Tris directed their sales representatives to deliver false and misleading messages about Dyanavel to doctors in Texas, including Medicaid doctors. Sales representatives falsely told doctors that Dyanavel worked significantly faster than other drugs and provided other unproven benefits to pediatric patients,” the filing states.