Thursday, September 03, 2009

Misbranding of pain killers - can it risk lives?

September, 2009 the Guardian in the UK had an article about the major US Drug Company Pfitzer. "Record lawsuit punishes misbranding of painkillers."

The biggest criminal fine in US history reflects the seriousness of this offense.

Some of the medicines linked to the scandal are the pain killer Bextra," the anti-psychotic drug Geodon, as well as the antibiotic Zyvox, and a treatment for epilepsy, known as Lyrica."

In 2004, the Sanfrancisco Chronicle reported that a division of this same company, Pfitzer, the world's largest drugmaker, has agreed to plead guilty to two felonies and pay $430 million in penalties to settle charges that it fraudulently promoted the drug Neurontin for a string of unapproved uses"

"In a written statement, Pfizer said the illegal practices took place before Pfizer acquired Warner-Lambert in 2000.

"Pfizer has cooperated fully with the government to resolve this matter, which did not involve Pfizer practice and employees,'' the company said. "Pfizer is committed to compliance with all health care laws and FDA requirements and to high ethical standards.'''

Note Pfizer said in 2004 that it was "committed to high ethical standards".

Heaven help us if they weren't so committed!

This is another massive betrayal of trust. Patients have no choice but to trust their doctors. Doctors need to feel that what they are told about the drugs they prescribe is the truth. Doctors need to feel that they can trust this information provided by drug reps and at conferences etc is accurate and appropriate.

All this is making non drug treatments seem even more appealing.

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