It wasn’t so long ago that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer plead guilty to healthcare fraud. Crimes included making misleading claims about the safety and efficacy of a drug, and improperly promoting it to doctors using advisory boards, consultant meetings, and even providing travel to extravagant resorts.
In 2009 Pfizer was ordered to pay a total of 2.3 billion which included a criminal fine of $1.3 billion.
From the United States Department of Justice:
Illegal conduct and fraud by pharmaceutical companies puts the public health at risk, corrupts medical decisions by health care providers, and costs the government billions of dollars,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “This civil settlement and plea agreement by Pfizer represent yet another example of what penalties will be faced when a pharmaceutical company puts profits ahead of patient welfare.”
“The size and seriousness of this resolution, including the huge criminal fine of $1.3 billion, reflect the seriousness and scope of Pfizer’s crimes,” said Mike Loucks, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. “Pfizer violated the law over an extensive time period.
This is just one more example of a pharmaceutical company generating profit while hurting the everyday people who fund their research through tax dollars.