PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.: Sweden and the drug industry: Like taking candy from children

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Sweden and the drug industry: Like taking candy from children

Ed Silverman over at Pharmalot reports that last year, 27 drugmakers were convicted for a total of 62 counts of breaking advertising rules, in Sweden.

In 18 cases, drugmakers were fined the maximum penalty of $14,000. The number of serious cases has doubled since 2005.

The companies were fined a total of about $700,000.

The worst offender was Novartis, which was fined 7 times. A spokeman blamed the violations on a failure of 'internal procedures.'

Richard Bergström, head of the Swedish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry, said it was clear that the current maximum fines were not a sufficient deterrent.

Again, the maximum penalty was $14,000.

Anyone NOT rolling on the floor howling with laughter?

$14,000 maximum fine.

Only in Sweden.

With that, here's a clip from the Muppet Show, of the Swedish Chef. It kinda tells you what the problem is in that cold, Nordic country.


Anonymous openvault3/4way said...

I am disappointed. In Sweden? They, the big pharma would not stop at anything or anywhere. Do they not have any and we mean any decency? And again the worst of them all NOVARTIS, seven times out of relatively few and they blame it on "internal" problems. Most likely what happened after they were exposed publicly, they pretended they did corrections and ordered new methods developed for future use. This is only the tip of the Swedish iseberg.Remember that nice obstetrician from Australia reporting on much more serious regulation violations by Novartis? It never stops with them. They as all big pharma think no one can do anything to them except give them a, for them, nominal fine (cost of doing business for them) and business goes on. One wonders what their top gun, the doctor who was declared as the CEO of the year multiple times ( EUROPE) thinks. Does he know what is going on with his Co or he simply does not want to know. All he needs to know is the bottom line and it always looks good at Novartis. Dr. Rost, when are we going to see your book in Switzerland and what is the title going to be? They ain't going to like it at Basel. It may give many people there ideas to bring out thing they know. What is the German or Franch word for Whistleblowing? Hope they have one if not doc will invent one. Right?

Blogger MsMelody said...

Until fines--both in Europe and the U.S.--impact the bottom line SIGNIFICANTLY, things won't change.

If I could drive 100 mph each time I leave my rustic home to drive to the big city, I could shave my travel time in half. And if, should I be pulled over and ticketed for exceeding the speed limit, my speeding habit would not change if my "fine" was merely pocket change. On the other hand, if my fine represented a week's salary, and duplicating the the act would revoke my driving privileges, I would certainly sit up and pay attention-- and probably halt my need-for-speed compulsion.

Fines, even those that sound significant to the poor, unwashed masses, currently represent no more than pocket change to Big Pharma. Let's see some TEETH--then we'll see some change. Multi-million-dollar fines and the threat/follow-thru of removal of company's product from government formularies might have an impact.

Anonymous openvault4/5way said...

Ms.M is right, again. Apparently Swedes are already ahead of everyone in the fines thing too. At lease in trafic rules violations fines. If what I heard is right and our in-blog doctor can tell us, in Sweden the rich (and they are not as rich as in USA) pay far more for the same trafic violation than the less rich (they do not have poor as we know them in USA or Canada) so it hurts appropriately. If this is true the Swdes just have to expand the system of fines to big pharma and charge them appropriately. In case of Novartis, that is apparently worth at least $150 billion US$, the fine should not be only max $14.000 but some significan amount as percentage of the total worth of the Co. They should be told:"You came to our pretty country of Sweden to corrupt our doctors and take advantage of our sick people, we caught you, your fine is 10% of your global worth, $15billion US or entire value of Novartis Sweden AG, which ever is less, Pay up". Why whichever is less? No ne could extract the $15 billion in this case from Switzerland as payment of the fine, but they would lose the entire local company. That would have to hurt, for sure. To stay in business in Sweden they would have pay up or smeone else would take up their business there.
Anyone who likes the idea, says yes! We think that such draconina meassures may just work. Novartis YOU say something. We know you too are watching.
Ps: If anyone thinks 10% is too much, OK let's say 9.98%. It looks more scientific.

Anonymous Rosethejet said...

Absolutely right.

Make those fines about 15 MILLION and watch how things change. But 700 grand? That's chump change to the Pharma companies.


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