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Pfizer Pays $2.3 Billion to Settle Marketing Case

Discussion in 'Health' started by ASPCA4EVER, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    By GARDINER HARRIS
    Published: September 2, 2009
    WASHINGTON — The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations that it had illegally marketed its now-withdrawn painkiller, Bextra.
    It was the largest health care fraud settlement and the largest criminal fine of any kind ever.
    Although the investigation began and largely ended during the Bush administration, top Obama administration officials held a press conference on Wednesday to celebrate the settlement, thank each other for resolving it and promise more crackdowns on health fraud.
    “It’s another step in the administration’s ongoing effort to prosecute any individual or organization that tries to rip off health care consumers and the federal government,” said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services.
    Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have accused the Obama administration of failing to crack down adequately on health care fraud, arguing that huge savings in government health programs could be found with better enforcement. The settlement had been expected. Pfizer, which is acquiring a rival, Wyeth, reported in January that it had taken a $2.3 billion charge to resolve claims involving Bextra and other drugs. It was Pfizer’s fourth settlement over illegal marketing activities since 2002.
    “Among the factors we considered in calibrating this severe punishment was Pfizer’s recidivism,” said Michael K. Loucks, acting United States attorney for the Massachusetts district.
    Amy W. Schulman, Pfizer’s general counsel, said that Pfizer had reformed — again.
    “The reasons to trust Pfizer are because, as I have walked the halls at Pfizer, you would see that the vast majority of our employees spend their lives dedicated to bringing truly important medications to patients and physicians in an appropriate manner,” she said.
    The government charged that executives and sales representatives throughout Pfizer’s ranks planned and executed schemes to illegally market not only Bextra but also Geodon, an antipsychotic; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, which treats nerve pain. While the government said the fine was a record sum, the $2.3 billion fine amounts to less than three weeks of Pfizer’s sales.
    Much of the activities cited Wednesday occurred while Pfizer was in the midst of resolving allegations that it illegally marketed Neurontin, an epilepsy drug for which the company in 2004 paid a $430 million fine and signed a corporate integrity agreement — a companywide promise to behave.
    John Kopchinski, a former Pfizer sales representative whose complaint helped prompt the government’s Bextra case, said that company managers told him and others to dismiss concerns about the Neurontin case while pushing them to undertake similar illegal efforts on behalf of Bextra.
    “The whole culture of Pfizer is driven by sales, and if you didn’t sell drugs illegally, you were not seen as a team player,” said Mr. Kopchinski, whose personal share of the Pfizer settlement is expected to exceed $50 million. Mr. Kopchinski left Pfizer in 2003.
    Altogether, six whistle-blowers will collect $102 million from the federal share of the settlement and more from states’ shares. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia will collect $331 million, with New York State alone getting $66 million. Only South Carolina chose not to participate in the settlement.
    As news of the riches earned by whistle-blowers spread through the industry in recent years, scores of fraud cases have been filed by former drug sales representatives using a Civil War-era law that pays a bounty for fraud alerts. The cases charge that illegal drug marketing cost the federal Medicare and Medicaid program millions.
    Under the agreement with the Justice Department, Pfizer will pay a $1.3 billion criminal penalty related to Bextra and $1 billion in civil fines related to other medicines. In addition, a Pfizer subsidiary, Pharmacia and Upjohn, will plead guilty to violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for its promotion of Bextra. The company has agreed to sign another corporate integrity agreement that requires senior company executives to annually certify legal compliance and mandates that Pfizer post on its Web site many of its payments to doctors.
    <for the rest of this story>
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/03/business/03health.html?_r=1&8au&emc=au
    ************************************
    Call me overly critical/paranoid/super suspicious...but I think someone at the FDA has some explaining to do. What & how were the clinical studies/pages of research that 'should have accompanied this proof of testing?

    And 5 violations since 2002...the FDA should have agents handcuffed to the lab chairs observing Pfizer's testing practices :mad:

    I was prescribed Bextra {fibromyalgia/arthritis pain} and my hair started falling out and my hands swelled up looked like a baseball mitt!!!

    Jesus, this just makes the blood boil...GRRRRR
     
  2. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    This is a classic example of government fulfilling its proper role and protecting our rights.

    I think someone at the FDA has some explaining to do. - ASPCA

    Perhaps you should look higher up the food chain.

    Pfizer has been lining the pockets of politicians - on both sides of the isle:

    Pfizer has been a top drug company contributor for political donations for more than a decade.

    Lets look at the stats:

    2010, Ranked #1, $309,805: 56% Dem --- 44% Rep
    2008, Ranked #1, $1,751,907: 52% Dem --- 48% Rep
    2006, Ranked #1, $1,743,839: 32% Dem --- 67% Rep
    2004, Ranked #1, $1,631,306: 31% Dem --- 69% Rep
    2002, Ranked #2, $1,906,772: 19% Dem --- 81% Rep
    2000, Ranked #1, $2,468,666 15% Dem --- 85% Rep

    Who are the top recipients of donations by Pfizer?

    1) Obama, Barack -- $121,925
    2) Clinton, Hillary -- $42,785
    3) McCain, John -- $28,076
    4) Dodd, Chris -- $22,400
    5) Collins, Susan M -- $19,200

    Keep in mind, those are total contributions so Obama taking #1 with more than twice as much money as Hillary, and having only been in office for 2 years, is staggering. The last candidate to receive more than $100k from Pfizer was George W. Bush.

    All Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (Drug Lobby): Top 5 Recipients of 2008:

    1) Obama, Barack (D) -- $1,110,978
    2) Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) -- $341,124
    3) McCain, John (R) -- $311,188
    4) McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) -- $192,150
    5) Specter, Arlen (R-PA) -- $168,200

    And on a purely partisan note... The next time someone talks about the people protesting Obamacare as being stooges for Big Pharma and the Insurance companies, remind them Barack Obama has taken $1.1 million from Big Pharma and $2.27 million from insurance companies.
     
  3. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    From your piece:
    You put the amount of contributions to the last election {Barack Obama} in bold font...but neglected to do the same for the one that I pulled out of your statement...hmmm {biases as usual, I suppose}
    You would have to have been living in a 'non-media' bubble to NOT understand that the drug companies have been a large lobbyist and one of the biggest contributors to any and all candidates that they see as a top - possible winner.

    Goes without saying...they pay and they pay really well...just as with the example of the private seminars at those exclusive resorts that they invited their top prescription writing doctors to join Pfizer officials; and not only paid for everything but paid the doctors for their time to come to the seminars too!!!

    Being a 'drug pusher' certainly pays in America...both illegally and with FDA approved drugs as well :mad:
     
  4. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    This is interesting, the top five in this list. the first three were the candidates. They must have known something about obama or maybe its near the end when they knew he had it that they pumped the money his way giving him more than double they gave anyone else. Chris Dodd is so currupt its no surprise to see him near the top. And the last two of the top 5 are the republican rino's who cant seem to vote republican on much of anything.
     
  5. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    I put the #1 spot in bold. Had it beena Republican, it would have still been in bold.

    Don't start with me. I was agreeing with you and you feel the need to play games...

    As if you don't have bias. As if you're some paragon of non-biased virtue... :rolleyes:

    Government did its job and if it weren't busy running car companies, banks, insurance companies, reading your emails and listening to your phone conversations, then maybe it would do a better job of protecting your rights.
     
  6. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    Gee, who would have thought...with all of your previous diatribes about & against our current president that you would/could be 'FAIR'...I'm SHOCKED :eek:
    TOUCHY and with a lack of humor just causes you much anxiety/sour attitude! "DON'T START WITH ME"...OHHHH, NOW THAT SOUNDS LIKE A REAL CHALLANGE!
    I said; "I SUPPOSE"...I didn't say as you always do or that I didn't have a bias for my elected president...because I DO. I'll give him credit when credit is due and hold my judgement for any errors like I did for 'dumba$$ G.W.B.' during his first 4 years of lies & deceit!!! Point out another previous president that has had all of these issues on his plate like our #45 has had to deal with and then compare who is doing the best job of the two...until then all you have is a 'BUTT LOAD' of SOUR GRAPES for having lost the election to President Obama!
    We are in uncharted waters and if you 'choose' to remain clueless about that then there really isn't any help for you and your anxiety & lack of humor too!!!
     
  7. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't a candidate for president, therefore I didn't lose to Obama.

    That line about "uncharted waters" has been a staple of authoritarian statists for more than a century.

    Teddy Roosevelt use the "uncharted waters" of Capitalist monopolies to become a "trust buster", lay the ground work for the New Deal with his Square Deal and the first president to use the power of government to regulate the economy in ways that didn't protect the rights of individuals but directly led to the market panic of 1907... laying the groundwork for the Federal Reserve.

    Wilson used the line about "uncharted waters" to imprison over 100,000 Americans for speaking out against the government and to create the Federal Reserve;

    "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.
    A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit.
    Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation,
    therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.
    We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely
    controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world.
    No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by
    conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by
    the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." - Wilson

    "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks...will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." - Jefferson

    FDR used that line about "uncharted waters" to create the welfare state, which accounts for more than 62% of our federal budget and has total debt obligations around 100 TRILLION dollars.

    Funny how every solution for "uncharted waters" leaves us with more government and less freedom.
     
  8. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    You bashed & lied on candidate Obama and did everything possible to see him lose... therefore when he won he BEAT you!;)

     
  9. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    LOL, spin away whirling dervish, spin away.

    When he won, America lost and we continue to lose.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    And if you continue to 'ASSume' that this entire work in progress would be any different...ANY DIFFRENT AT ALL WITH JOHN McCAIN AT THE HELM THEN YOU ARE TRULLY - UNDENIALBLY CLUELESS AND NOT LOOKING AT THE ENTIRE PICTURE OF THE FIASCO THAT WAS CREATED AND THE WORK THAT IS NECESSARY TO REPAIR THE DAMAGES THAT WERE/ARE/HAVE BEEN DONE TO THIS GREAT COUNTRY!!! :mad:

    You just stand on the side line and continue your 'wailing/whining/B.S.' and the rest of America will be working towards a solution to this mess that was allowed to happen under a Republican elected president that had only a finite single issue on his wee little mind and once he achieved that obsession he didn't give a 'rats a$$' what happened next!!! ;)
     
  11. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    Hey it was you a bashin' when I was telling you you were only over playing your hand and about to receive a big butt whoopin'!:D

    Notice how that chart had a surplus under Clinton? Had we not got the imbecile Bush for 8 years and The Bush Rescission largest economic downturn since the Great Depression plus 2 wars (the most costly one a complete occupation & completely made up) the deficit projections would be much better we all agree.

    But we got Bush... and Cheney... and Rummy... and that started to snowball of economic disaster. Now we must deal with their mess & try and get some kind of majorly needed Health Care reform.

    Damn I wish Gore would have got in instead of Mr. "STRATEGERY"! Then Obama! And I'm sure in hind site most other people do as well.


     
  12. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    Now, now...don't go getting GenSeneca's undies in a bunch about his stats...he only want so see what he can cherry pick out as his FACTS...not the reality of the history of those past 12years...but that graph sure as SH!T...makes it all perfectly clear.
    LMAO...PWNED by his own fact sheet and he's clueless...:eek: why I'm just shocked...I am!!!
     
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