I always thought it was strange to hear about the expense accounts of friends (with no science background) working in pharmaceutical sales. Over the years, they have shared stories about wining and dining doctors, taking them to Yankees games and Broadway shows and so on, explaining this is ‘standard marketing practice‘. Still, it’s always seemed to me that prescribing medication shouldn’t really be about receiving a flashy sales pitch so much as following the Hippocratic Oath, you know? Turns out, I’m not the only who thinks so…
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drug maker, will pay a record $2.3 billion civil and criminal penalty over unlawful prescription drug promotions.
Announcing the settlement Wednesday, the Justice Department said that it included the largest criminal fine in U.S. history — $1.2 billion. The agreement also included a criminal forfeiture of $105 million.
Authorities called Pfizer a repeat offender, noting it is the fourth such settlement of government charges in the last decade. They said the government will monitor the company’s conduct for the next five years to rein in the abuses.
To promote the drugs, authorities said Pfizer invited doctors to consultant meetings at resort locations, paying their expenses and providing perks.
“They were entertained with golf, massages, and other activities,” said Mike Loucks, the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts.
Loucks said that even as Pfizer was negotiating deals on past misconduct, they were continuing to violate the very same laws with other drugs.
Links to this Post
- On Pfizer’s Illegal Promotions | Ethiopian News | September 3, 2009