Pfizer illegally promoted its drugs by treating doctors to all-expense paid “consultant meetings” at resorts across the world. Perks included massages, golf outings, and meals, among other things.
And why should we care? Because it ends up costing all of us. $1 billion of the penalty will reimburse Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health care programs funded by taxpayers. At a time when all consumers are tightening their belts and watching their budgets, health care costs continue to escalate due in part to greed and illegal profiteering by pharmaceutical makers like Pfizer.
Pfizer recently announced its intentions by years end to acquire its rival Wyeth for $68 billion bolstering its position as the world’s largest drug maker by revenue. Apparently the rich get richer despite record criminal penalties. Go figure.