WASHINGTON – Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drug maker, will pay a record $2.3 billion civil and criminal penalty over unlawful promotions, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
The department said the $2.3 billion settlement included a $1.2 billion criminal fine, the largest criminal fine in U.S. history. The agreement also included a criminal forfeiture of $105 million.
Pfizer has been a driving force behind the smoking bans, hasn’t anyone noticed the massive Chantix commercials on TV starting a week before the tax increase? How many times have you seen this one in the last week!
Why do I bring up Pfizer, well last week I showed the ties between Smoke Free Wisconsin and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Well in just the 4th quarter of 2008 Smoke Free Wisconsin received $14,000.00 in Grants from Pfizer. It’s interesting that they don’t mention their Big Pharma ties while they go on making false accusations that e-cigarettes were products produced by Big Tobacco to get kids hooked. Of course they can’t have people using products that wouldn’t put money in their handlers pockets.
Phizer has their finger in every aspect of smoking bans and smoking cessation programs.
Dr Siegel exposed some of this last year.
As I have reported here, the national recommendation that Chantix and other smoking cessation drugs be used to treat nicotine dependence in every smoking patient, including the conclusion that Chantix is a superior treatment to the nicotine patch alone and the decision to recommend Chantix despite its reported potential adverse effects, was made by a national expert panel that had severe financial conflicts of interests.
The panel’s chair – Dr. Michael C. Fiore – “reported that he served as an investigator on research studies at the University of Wisconsin (UW) that were supported wholly or in part by four pharmaceutical companies, and in 2005 received compensation from one pharmaceutical company. In addition, he reported that, in 1998, the UW appointed him to a named Chair, which was made possible by an unrestricted gift to the UW from GlaxoWellcome.”
Importantly, Dr. Fiore has reported “that he has lectured and consulted for Pfizer and has served as an investigator on research studies at the University of Wisconsin (UW) that were supported by GlaxoSmithKline, Nabi, Pfizer, and sanofi-aventis.” Pfizer is the company that markets Chantix.
Not to mention their financing a course for doctors through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A Pfizer promotional campaign for the controversial drug Chantix – which includes financing a course for doctors through the University of Wisconsin-Madison – has helped the drug dominate the prescription smoking-treatment market while burying mention of its serious side effects.
Chantix now accounts for 90% of smoking cessation prescriptions, even though the Food and Drug Administration has been investigating the drug for a rash of serious side effects, such as suicidal behavior and blackouts.
None of the side effects are mentioned in the UW continuing education online course, which is paid for by Pfizer. The course directly mentions only Chantix as a first-line treatment, even though the drug is one of seven first-line treatments, according to national guidelines.
I think it is high time to end all public funding to Tobacco control including the MSA.
o control including the MSA.