"Whiny Whistleblower of the Year"
A month after Pfizer fired me, the American Council on Science and Health on December 30, 2005 announced that they had nominated me to “Whiny Whistleblower of the Year.”
In his nomination, Gilbert Ross, M.D., Executive and Medical Director of the ACSH stated that the biggest “Whiny Whistleblower” for 2005 was “the person who most outrageously defied his or her employer, regardless of loyalty, science, or even common sense.” Dr. Ross concluded “I vote for ex-Pfizer V.P. Dr. Peter Rost, an inept exec but a pretty good whistleblower. He provoked a federal investigation of his own company in 2003, alleging that Pfizer was responsible for the improper marketing of the synthetic growth hormone Genotropin.”
Of course it was with certain amusement that I noted that the magazine Mother Jones wrote about ACSH medical director, “Ross spent all of 1996 at a federal prison camp in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, having being sentenced to 46 months in prison for his participation in a scheme that ultimately defrauded New York's Medicaid program of approximately $8 million.”
And I figured that perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that ACSH had given me this fine award, since Pfizer contributed to ACSH, according to Corporate Donors 1997. But I didn’t have more recent data and I didn’t really know how much money Pfizer had given them lately. So since I've sued Pfizer for wrongful termination, my attorney sent ACSH a subpoena, asking for all kinds of interesting information that could be helpful at trial.
Clearly it would have been very easy for ACSH to respond and say that they hadn’t taken any money from Pfizer. But they didn’t. ACSH responded, “With regard to your request for confidential commercial information in terms of donations to ACSH, we cannot comply with this request if there is a possibility that such confidential information would be disclosed at trial.”
So I was just about to write a really funny posting about how this made ACSH look really guilty. But it didn’t work out that way. After we threatened to compel by going to court, we got a letter saying ACSH changed their mind and would give us everything we asked for, if we keep the stuff confidential.
Aw, shucks. No more blogs making fun of ACSH.
But I guess there’s something good about that. At least it’ll make Pfizer understand that if they play ball instead of playing stupid when we ask for their documents, there’s a benefit to them too. It’ll make them look as if they have less to hide and that’ll make us all much happier. But then again, Pfizer may have more to hide than ACSH.
To read more about Pfizer's secrets, and what they do to protect them, see my blog $10,000 Fine If I Talk and Super Secret Secrets.