PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.: Pfizer prepares to get rid of maraviroc whistleblower
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PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.

Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Pfizer Marketing Vice President providing services as a medical device and drug expert witness and pharmaceutical marketing expert. Judge Sanders: "The court agrees with defendants' view that Dr. Rost is a very adept and seasoned expert witness." He is also the author of Emergency Surgery, The Whistleblower and Killer Drug. You can reach him on rostpeter (insert symbol) hotmail.com. Please read the terms of use agreement and privacy policy for this blog carefully.

Pfizer prepares to get rid of maraviroc whistleblower

I just obtained the communication below between Jane Roe, a Senior Therapeutic Sales Representative for Pfizer's HIV/AIDS Division, and Special Agent Lou Linder, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

(Names have been changed to protect the investigation.)

The communication is amazing for several reasons:

1. In her first e-mail, Jane writes to the OIG: "We were recently asked to delete any mention of maraviroc . . ." If this is true, it may constitute obstruction of justice. I suggest Davis, Polk & Wardwell verify this information.

2. In her last e-mail Jane writes, "I am being forced out of my position which I estimate will take place by the end of May." If true, that means Pfizer is about to get rid of yet another whistleblower.

That may violate Pfizer's "Blue Book" business policy, NY State Law, and it may also violate Pfizer's 2004 Corporate Integrity Agreement, in which Pfizer promises the OIG that Pfizer has a "commitment to nonretaliation."

I suggest the Special Agent in charge of this investigation not only makes himself "available" but takes action to prevent a violation of Pfizer's corporate integrity agreement.


From: "Linder, Lou A (OIG/OI)"
To: "jane roe"
Subject: RE: power point slides
Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 12:02:10 -0400

Thank you for letting me know. When you want to speak with me about these matters, I will be available. You can reach me at the phone number below.

Take care,

Special Agent Lou Linder
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Inspector General
50 Kennedy Plaza, Suite 750
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 528-41XX
Fax: (401) 528-41XX

-----Original Message-----
From: jane roe [mailto:janeroe@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 9:00 PM
To: Linder, Lou A (OIG/OI)
Subject: RE: power point slides

Dear Agent Linder,

I have decided not to meet at this time. I am being forced out of my position which I estimate will take place by the end of May. I am very concerned about how Pfizer has been able to act without regard for the law not just with the off label discussions of miraviroc but the marketing of Viracept with clinical science people who were not part of medical affairs but marketing.

They used methods that I am sure if held up to scrutiny would be illegal. I trust once you have all the information I have you would have the complete picture. The issue as I see it is I cannot afford a lawyer and Pfizer would never let you see correspondence now trapped in my computer.

I promise to contact you as soon as I have left Pfizer and hopefully be able to at the very least give you a picture of the situation as I have witnessed it.

Jane Roe

From: "Linder, Lou A (OIG/OI)"
To: "jane roe"
Subject: RE: power point slides
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 11:24:13 -0400

I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I have received your emails. I am still in trial, but I do want to meet with you in the next week or two. I will contact you (probably later next week) to set up a time to meet up. If you have any additional informaiton, feel free to send it along.

Thanks!

Special Agent Lou Linder
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector
General 50 Kennedy Plaza, Suite 750 Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 528-41XX
Fax: (401) 528-41XX

-----Original Message-----
From: jane roe[mailto:janeroe@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 10:16 PM
To: Linder, Lou A (OIG/OI)
Subject: power point slides

Agent Linder these are unapproved slides given to me. In November 06 we were asked to help solicit physicians buy in for miraviroc prior to the launch these slides were to help grease the wheels. They were sent from medical affairs at the direction of the sales director.

We were recently asked to delete any mention of miraviroc and I filed a complaint with Pfizer compliance with little expectation they would do much about the use of sales reps as medical liaisons.

Jane Roe

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5 Comments:

Blogger Group of Seven said...

This is very upsetting. That's why whistleblowers can't go through official channels i.e. managers when reporting corruption. They lose their chance to remain anonymous. The best evidence is where groups of people know about it & you don't stand out. Never report anything directly to your manager. Wait for the ability to remain anonymous and THEN act. Retaliation is VERY REAL despite law, rules and policy. I am begging OIG Linder to intervene on Jane's behalf ASAP. Go7

5/24/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the problem here is a failure to communicate with reps unfiltered because of all the corporate hacks. This person has gone to lawyers, gone to compliance,OIG, and now Peter. It seems to me along the way someone would have sensed this was a very large boil on Pfizer's butt and was ready to burst...Why along the way didn't someone reach out and settle this. Thank you Peter for the court of public opinion because as we know if you can't win in a court of law there is always Peter...I want to say bless you but it sounds to corny...

JS
http://blog.360.yahoo.com/billofrights2007

5/24/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pfizer really do not give a sh*t about the law. They are big enough and powerful enough to be above it, and are quite happy to pay multi-million dollar fines while not admitting to any guilt about anything. At best JD will obtain a stay of execution, rather like you did yourself, Doc

5/24/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell Jane that there are many lawyers willing to represent whistleblowers in these kinds of healthcare fraud cases on a contingency fee basis-- as is happening for several of us in the realm of whistleblowing who pop up here and on cafe pharma from time to time. (Special thanks to you, Doc, for keeping all of this in the front pages and pressuring responses from the companies and govt. alike!)

A place many of us have started when looking for a good attorney with experience representing whistleblowers in govt. healthcare fraud cases is Taxpayers Against Fraud (website at www.taf.org). They are a tremendous whistleblower advocacy group comprised of former federal prosecutors and private sector health and employment law attorneys spread across the country.

As is true of doctors, pharma reps, etc., some lawyers are incredibly bright and capable and some aren't; and so it's vitally important to find a good lawyer recommended by people you can trust. That is a good place to start and they can help put her in contact with a selection of good attorneys in her area that can work on a contingency fee basis and help her hit Pfizer big, as provided by statute, for all of her damages-- twice her lost back pay plus interest, lost front pay (whatever she would have made at Pfizer minus whatever she makes in the likely much lower paying job she ends up in), special damages, etc. + her percentage (15% to 30%) of fed and state recoveries under the false claims act.

Pfizer has endangered lives with this practice, they're apparently now seeking to destroy the only person who had guts enough to try to speak up for the unknowing patients to destroy her career and livelihood and the OIG is sitting on its ass. Yeah, she needs a good and experienced lawyer who can get the OIG's butt in gear AND make Pfizer pay and compensate her for all of her losses that will result from her courage.

Don't give the OIG more until you get with a lawyer experienced in this kind of law, Jane. The OIG serves only the needs of their office and the portion thereof that doesn't cave to the power of special interests, like the drug industry. Even the OIG doesn't represent YOU, and too often doesn't do a very good job representing the American people. The OIG has no obligation to represent your best interests and will potentially leave you high and dry himself.

Document and copy everything you can before the company cans you and take get with a bulldog of an attorney before meeting with the OIG-- that's your best hope both for correcting the problem you've reported and also protecting yourself and your future for what you've now sacrificed.

Best of luck with it, whatever you decide to do! You're a gutsy person of true integrity (isn't that one of Pfizer's "core values" they report to shareholders? what a laugh!) with more backbone, obviously, than any of your co-workers who equally knew this was dangerous to patients and totally illegal and yet said absolutely nothing (criminals and cowards by definition!).

On behalf of patients throughout America, THANK YOU!-- despite how tough and rocky the next few years are likely going to be for you, and I'm dreadfully saddened by that!

5/24/2007  
Blogger PharmaFraud said...

When will government officials begin to take timely action that puts a stop to the aggresive retaliation by sociopathic executives? Honest employees who are simply reporting illegal activity, as the law and their own company policies require, continue to be abused because their requests for help are ignored. Mr. Linder, your response is not adequate. When will you take action to protect this employee? You do know that Retalation against a Whistleblower is a felony, Correct?

5/24/2007  

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