Another bribery case has been settled by a pharmaceutical giant. This time it was Pfizer’s turn to admit to buying off doctors, regulators and other government officials in countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Czech Republic, China and Italy. Please note that these cases are the ones where authorities found irregularities in Pfizer’s behavior, although there are many more cases that aren’t even reported about how pharmaceutical companies legally compromise the doctor-patient relationship by encouraging those doctors to push dangerous pharmaceuticals on people who have no idea about the bribery schemes.
The drug maker Pfizer met with representatives of the Department of Justice in the United States to admit blame in the bribery schemes and agreed to pay fines totaling more than $ 60 million (more than 48 million euros) for bribing doctors, regulators and government officials abroad.
The Justice Department announced yesterday hat Pfizer has agreed to end disputes over illegal practices by paying a fine of $ 15 million and the repayment of $ 26.3 million in benefits to the stock market regulator the SEC. Keep in mind that although the company has admitted to the crime, none of Pfizer’s executives was personally blamed and no one has been fired or sent to jail. This new case represents another example of how a multinational corporation bribes its way off trouble — by paying government agencies — for having bribed doctors and other individuals. The total amount of over $60 million pales in comparison with the damage done by pharmaceutical products sold by Pfizer and other drug giants, which kill over 700,000 people a year in the United States alone.
Another subsidiary, acquired by the U.S. pharmaceutical in 2009, Wyeth, will pay $ 18.8 million in repayment of benefits and costs of legal process to resolve the dispute with the U.S. authorities. Cases of bribery have moved from one corporation to another in the last few years. GlaxoSmithKline also agreed to pay $3 billion for criminal and civil violations after the company admitted to illegally marketing the popular antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and hiding information on the medical risks of its best-selling diabetes drug, Avandia. In the case of GlaxoSmithKline, no one faced jail time either.
The use of antidepressants, among other drugs is now known to cause violent behavior in patients who in many cases become violent to the point of committing homicide or even suicide. This is the kind of information that the pharmaceutical companies hide from patients at all cost. It is also precisely this criminal behavior what transforms people into killing machines, as we explained yesterday in our article about the shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin in the United States.
As reported by Mike Adams in his video Chemical Massacre, people are 6200% more likely today of dying because of their use of dangerous pharmaceuticals, than due to terrorism, for example. However, doctors and large drug conglomerates are never held accountable for the death of patients that entrust their health to their doctors; the same people who are bribed by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline to lie to the sick, the old and the ignorant so they can sell more pharmaceuticals.
The agreement to pay the fines prevents the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecution against the pharmaceutical industry for improper payments to get a better market position for its products. So in case you were already applauding and cheering for the US DOJ, you can stop right now. What this means is that, once again, a drug giant gets its way with the government and the public, by getting off unharmed for the crimes that cost the lives of millions of people around the world. They will always have $ 60 million or even $3 billion in their reserves to bribe the government and avoid criminal charges.
Back in 2000, the American Medical Association reported on its Journal that almost 300 people in the United States alone die everyday from complications that stem from the use of pharmaceutical products. These complications are caused by medications approved by the Federal Drug Administration of the United States. In other words, government agencies at the very least allow pharmaceutical companies to produce and sell medications that cause sickness and death. How much do drug companies pay in fines to the families? Nothing. This situation will continue to be the same as long as corporations agree to bribe the DOJ, the FDA, and of course the doctors as safety nets to get around the laws.
In 2004, Pfizer was the first major pharmaceutical decided to ‘cooperate’ with the Justice Department to investigate illegal conduct of foreign companies traded, punishable in the United States. Another example is Johnson & Johnson, the company that produces many of the poisonous household cleaning products that billions of people use everywhere. Johnson & Johnson agreed last year to pay $ 70 million in fines to settle for bribes paid in countries like Greece, Poland and Iraq.
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Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.