In a win for the health care of Americans everywhere, and a “mega fail” for Big Pharma, Pfizer has been fined $2.3 Billion in by the Justice Dept for illegal marketing to doctors, including paying for their golf trips, massage and resort junkets.
A Justice Dept official said that even as Pfizer was negotiating deals on past misconduct, they were continuing to violate the very same laws with other drugs. Note this is their 4th such settlement in a decade for illegal marketing.
To prevent backsliding this time, Pfizer’s conduct will be specially monitored by the Health and Human Service Department inspector general for five years. We’ll have to see how that works out.
In an unusual twist, the head of the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder, did not participate in the record settlement, because he had represented Pfizer on these issues while in private practice. (I’ll be he was pissed off!)
The drugs being marketed illegally were Viagra, Zoloft, and Lipitor, among others.
Apparently there’s just so much money in these drugs that Pfizer just considers these huge fines a “cost of doing business”.
So the next time your doctor prescribes a specific drug to you (instead of the cheaper generic), ask him if he’s been to any golf resorts lately — then ask him who paid for it.
Full story on TheStreet here: Pfizer Busted for Illegal Marketing