By Martha Rosenberg
July 10, 2010
The drug company Pfizer is best known for Lipitor, a drug that brings cholesterol down and Viagra, a drug that brings other things up.
But the “world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company” which sits between Goldman Sachs and Marathon Oil on the Fortune 500, is also closely associated with a seemingly never-ending series of scandals.
To say Pfizer’s been accused of wrongdoing is like saying BP had an oil spill. Other drug companies have a portfolio of products, Pfizer has a portfolio of scandals including, but not limited to, Chantix, Lipitor, Viagra, Geodon, Trovan, Bextra, Celebrex, Lyrica, Zoloft, Halcion and drugs for osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, kidney transplants and leukemia.
During one week in June Pfizer 1) agreed to pull its 10-year-old leukemia drug Mylotarg from the market because it caused more, not less patient deaths 2) Suspended pediatric trials of Geodon two months after the FDA said children were being overdosed 3) Suspended trials of tanezumab, an osteoarthritis pain drug, because patients got worse not better, some needing joint replacements (pattern, anyone?) 4) Was investigated by the House for off-label marketing of kidney transplant drug Rapamune and targeting African-Americans 5) Saw a researcher who helped established its Bextra, Celebrex and Lyrica as effective pain meds, Scott S Reuben, MD, trotted off to prison for research fraud 6) was sued by Blue Cross Blue Shield to recoup money it overpaid for Bextra and other drugs 7) received a letter from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) requesting its whistleblower policy and 8 ) had its appeal to end lawsuits by Nigerian families who accuse it of illegal trials of the antibiotic Trovan in which 11 children died, rejected by the Supreme Court. And how was your week?
Nor does Pfizer back down when faced with legal troubles.
Even as it was under the probation of a 5-year Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with Health and Human Services for withholding $20 million in Lipitor rebates owed to Medicaid in 2002, it off-label marketed its seizure drug Neurontin and entered into another CIA in 2004.
Read entire article: http://www.alternet.org/story/147467/
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