Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pfizer Was Fined 132,544,978 Viagra Tablets... And No One Cares


*Note that total was based off the AWP of Viagra 100mg as of the date of this post

I find it kind of funny how the news can be flooded when our president swats a fly, but when the largest pharmaceutical company in the world is fined $2.3 billion for lying to the American people, no one cares.

In what authorities called the largest criminal fine in history, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay $1.3 billion, plus $1 billion in civil penalties, for peddling drugs to treat conditions for which the federal government had not approved the medications. Source


Now I knew Pfizer had been spanked by the FDA this year, but I had not realized they were spanked that hard. Yes, they have the funds to pay that kind of cash, but that is a huge wake up call to any of the other dipshit companies who try to pull this.

The settlement focused mainly on Pfizer's promotion of Bextra, an anti-inflammatory drug pulled from the market in 2005 for safety reasons. Source

I was on Bextra for a while after a neck injury when I was 17. It worked beautifully... but it wasn't designed for that use. I remember people coming in who were prescribed Bextra for migraines. That's when I found out what it was actually intended to be used for and it was the first time I heard the phrase 'off-label use'.

Plus you think they would learn after a while

Government attorneys noted this is actually the fourth settlement with Pfizer or one of its subsidiaries since 2002 over illegal marketing, but the fines for those cases totaled only $513 million. Source


So... you haven't learned eh? The biggest and bestest company in its industry in the world can't follow the rules? Sounds familiar...

Pfizer was also accused of fraudulently marketing the anti-psychotic drug Geodon, the antibiotic Zyvox, and the epilepsy treatment Lyrica. Source


The Lyrica one we have become aware of over the past year. Seems as if that is the drug of choice for damn near every condition as of late.

Have a cough? Take 50mg of Lyrica. Trouble growing flowers in your garden this year? Take 75mg of Lyrica.

The kicker is, as far as I can tell, this didn't even make a blip in the news media. Pfizer was effectively dickslapped by the government and the headline on CNN was about a 'John School' for prostitution offenders. Uh huh...

I really feel sorry for Pfizer's stockholders. They have virtually nothing in their drug pipeline for when all their blockbusters go off patent in the next 2-3 years and, I would assume, their planned deal with Wyeth is going to fall through now. I can't imagine Wyeth would allow themselves to be involved with such negative publicity, but then again standards in this country are quite low nowadays.

And that is why the Viagra is so sad in that picture above. Poor poor Viagra.


1 comments:

Grumpy, M.D. said...

The Wyeth deal will most defintely go through.

Neurontin was where it all started with the off-label marketing kick. Pfizer discovered they could make obscene amounts by marketing it (and now Lyrica) off label.

They actually worked it into their budget projections as to how much they'd pay in federal fines for their behavior.

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