Fee Fi Fo Fum…
Pfizer is the giant one! And giants should be able to go wherever they want, whenever they want, to do whatever they want, to whomever they want. Case in point– in 2009 Pfizer plead guilty to illegal marketing and agreed to pay 2.3 billion to settle the charges. They also paid the U.S. government another 1.3 billion in criminal fines for off label marketing. And that was the 4th settlement by Pfizer with the Department of Justice in the previous ten years…3 strikes laws don’t apply here and certainly not to corporate citizens! And the 3.6 billion in fines for 10 years of mega profits amounts to 3 days of sales at Pfizer…let’s just rough this out a little– for 3,650 days of profits we give up 3 days of sales? For me? Ok!
But Pfizer giant want more. It’s not enough to have a revolving door between the industry and regulators, or that tax payers already pay for 80% of big pharma’s basic research, or that they enjoy tax loopholes you can drive a bonus truck through…no no my friend– Pfizer giant wants to be Godzilla! And to become that they are currently writing a new “trade” agreement for the Obama Administration called The Trans Pacific Partnership. Pfizer giant doesn’t want to be tied down anymore by the Lilliputians and their democracies with their pesky laws.
And with the TPP they won’t have to worry about fines from things like health care fraud, off label marketing, or side effect risks…oh no my friend…The TPP will let them profit with impunity. They aren’t giving up those 3 days of sales for anyone or anything! Pfizer understands that the TPP will provide a pathway to insure that health systems across the world can enjoy the full benefit of costly, and quite often useless, for-profit medicine. You got to respect that business model!
And Pfizer knows that one provision in the TPP gets them there. It will allow 3 industry experts– not judges– experts to decide if a law interferes with a corporation’s ability to make a profit. If it does– that law has to go or the taxpayers must pay that profit. Now this is where the big pharma revolving door comes in. If a government regulator is on his way to become a chief marketing officer at say, Pfizer, maybe he takes a sabbatical to faithfully serve as one of those three industry experts. And I wonder how these industry experts are going to rule?
Fee Fi Fo Fum– Pfizer giant not so dumb!