Pfizer, a drug company which appears to have won the lottery to produce the first Covid-19 vaccine, is currently battling hundreds of lawsuits over Zantac, a popular heartburn medication. Zantac lawsuits claim the popular drug can be contaminated with a cancer-causing substance called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
The Zantac suits are open-ended and ongoing, as the drug maker is fighting them; but Pfizer has, we know, committed several crimes or transgressions for which it has been punished in recent years. The company’s failings are well documented and worth reviewing at this critical time in human history as we all search for answers.
At a time when much of the world has waited with baited breath for a vaccine that many hope will help restore civilized society to at least some semblance of normality, the history of Pfizer is rife with so much subterfuge and under-the-table dealing that the company will need all the help it can get to promote confidence in its hastily assembled Covid vaccine.
While legal heavyweights like the New York Bar Association and a celebrity attorney like Alan Derschowitz have called for mandatory Covid vaccinations, it would seem at least reasonable to share all the information available on a company millions of people are expected to trust with their health, perhaps their very lives.
Pfizer’s Checkered History
- Pfizer received the biggest fine in U.S. history as part of a $2.3 Billion plea deal with federal prosecutors for mis-promoting medicines (Bextra, Celebrex) and paying kickbacks to compliant doctors. Pfizer pleaded guilty to mis-branding the painkiller Bextra by promoting the drug for uses for which it was not approved.
- In the 1990s, Pfizer was involved in defective heart valves that lead to the deaths of more than 100 people. Pfizer had deliberately misled regulators about the hazards. The company agreed to pay $10.75 Million to settle justice department charges for misleading regulators.
- Pfizer paid more than $60 Million to settle a lawsuit over Rezulin, a diabetes medication that caused patients to die from acute liver failure.
- In the UK, Pfizer has been fined nearly €90 Million for overcharging the National Health Service. Pfizer charged the taxpayer an additional €48 Million per year for what should have cost €2 million per year.
- Pfizer agreed to pay $430 Million in 2004 to settle criminal charges that it had bribed doctors to prescribe its epilepsy drug Neurontin for indications for which it was not approved.
- In 2011, a jury found Pfizer committed racketeering fraud in its marketing of the drug Neurontin. Pfizer agreed to pay $142.1 Million to settle the charges.
- Pfizer disclosed that it had paid nearly nearly 4,500 doctors and other medical professionals some $20 Million for speaking on Pfizer’s behalf.
- In 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had reached a $45 Million settlement with Pfizer to resolve charges that its subsidiaries had bribed overseas doctors and other healthcare professionals to increase foreign sales.