It’s hard to believe a month has gone by since I wrote about Wyeth Pharmaceuticals hiring ghostwriters to produce articles touting the advantages of hormone replacement therapy using their product, Premarin.
Now it seems an even bigger pharmaceutical fish has its eye on Wyeth. Pfizer apparently admires Wyeth and its ethics and covets its products. In other words, they plan to buy out Wyeth by the end of the year.
The two deserve each other, I’d say. Today the big story is about Pfizer having to pay a recond $2.3 billion penalty for repeated misleading and illegal marketing violations. They plied doctors with golf and vacations to encourage them to prescribe Pfizer drugs — and not just prescibe them for their approved uses but for their “off label” unapproved uses and doses uses as well. Some of the drugs involved were Aricept, Celebrex, Lipitor, Norvasc, Relpax, Viagra, Zithromax, Zoloft, and Zyrtec.
Regulators hope the fines this time are big enough to stop the illegal practices. Pfizer probably just writes them off as part of the cost of doing business.
One has to wonder if Pfizer is so underhanded about marketing its products, what sort of skullduggery is involved in the actual manufacture of their products? Are those pills really what the label says they are? Do they include increasing amounts of filler and less of active ingredients so that Pfizer can make more money? Maybe all the pills now are just sugar and no one has noticed.
Who knows anything anymore. Who are we supposed to trust? Not Big Pharma, that’s for sure. They’ll do anything to make a buck, and to hell with the health and safety of the public.