HuffPo is reporting on naughty pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer’s settlement with the Justice department today, as they agreed to $2.3 billion in fines for basically making things up about their products.
Bextra, a painkiller with a standard-issue obtuse yet meaningless product name, was one of the drugs which Pfizer peddled “for unapproved uses and dosages, backed by false and misleading claims about safety and effectiveness”, offering free golf, resort junkets and undoubtedly fancy branded pens.
Not their first time either- Pfizer has coughed up over $11 billion over the last decade for their naughtiness, so I think we can all agree how effective a deterrent billion dollar fines are.
“There’s so much money in selling pills, that there’s a tremendous temptation to cheat,” said Bill Vaughan, an analyst at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.
Not to worry, as Pfizer took the opportunity today to also announce their acquisition of Wyeth for $68 billion, which will make them the largest pill pusher in the world, based upon revenue.
Kudos to the whistle blowers within Pfizer-hopefully they got a cut of the action, or at least a few handfulls of Viagra.
Today’s announcement really does put the recent deal the White House brokered with pharma in perspective, as they gave up negotiating drug prices for pharma’s $150 million in public ads promoting the health care reform plan.