PHILADELPHIA, Sept 02, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — Includes Allegations of Illicitly Promoting Antibiotic As Clinically Superior When Its Own FDA-Approved Label Said Otherwise; First-Ever Qui Tam Whistleblower Settlement of Its Type Pfizer Inc. ignored a 2005 FDA Warning Letter to stop promoting its antibiotic Zyvox(R) as clinically superior to the significantly less expensive, generic vancomycin when its own FDA-approved label indicated otherwise. The drug giant also defrauded federal and state taxpayers by marketing Zyvox off-label, according to a qui tam whistleblower complaint filed by Philadelphia law firm Sheller, P.C. and other documents unsealed with today’s $2.3 billion Pfizer settlement. The $2.3 billion settlement included off-label marketing allegations for the withdrawn arthritis drug Bextra(R), which was included in the Sheller complaint. Zyvox (linezolid) is an antibacterial agent that is approved by the FDA to treat certain types of infections, including nosocomial pneumonia and complicated skin and skin structure infections (“CSSSIs”) due to Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (“MRSA”). Worldwide sales of Zyvox totaled $1.115 billion in 2008.