PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.: "DRUG company giant Pfizer has been hit with a record $200,000 fine" in Australia

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"DRUG company giant Pfizer has been hit with a record $200,000 fine" in Australia

Pfizer Australia was fined $200,000, the largest one-off fine Medicines Australia have given a company, after its representatives in NSW and Queensland were found guilty of telling doctors a cholesterol-lowering drug produced by rival AstraZeneca could cause kidney damage.

The company was found guilty of a range of breaches of the code including making false and misleading claims and the most serious breach of bringing "discredit to and reduction of confidence in the industry" writes the Age.

But is that really the news?



If this is the biggest fine you ever handed out to a $50 billion corporation which just doubled its profit in the first quarter, do you reeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaallly think you're making a difference?

A statement by Pfizer Australia yesterday said an investigation had established that while representatives "may have made some statements of the kind alleged by AstraZeneca … no senior manager at Pfizer Australia was aware that the conduct was taking place".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

" senior manager..." Lies, lies and more lies. This is the oldest trick in bigpharmafia book, denaying that "senior" management had no idea these things were going on. In reality they all knew it and know it everytime. This kind of organized misconduct is just that. Organized, planned and approved by all the levels of management. However just like in the real mafia they have the usual buffers. These are buffers between the workhorses/reps who do the actual dirty work and management in case they get caught. So they can say something like in the posts:"Our most miticulous internal investigation has established that no senior manager was aware of any misconduct yadda, yadda, yadda". Who the hell gave the orders to the reps? They just could not go on their own and make those false claims etc.
I was personally present at our national sales meeting when the brand manager was introducing the sales strategy to the hundreds of reps. Half of it was about false claims and off-label promotion. Our CEO and all the other brass were present and no one objected. They all were in on it and the fake literature was produced and shown by power point etc. etc.
Had we got caught our brass would have made statment to this effect;" No senior management.....". That is how they operate, everywhere. Here and downunder.
ps: When the amount of fine is so small they do it routinely for that kind of fine is just a tiny cost of doing business. It seems only in US when caught bigpharma pays big. And they still keep on doing it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the brand mamager introducing the Diovan strategy? We understand this is how Diovan become #1 selling ARB in the world. Of course it is no better than others, but that extra push by making false and off-label claims makes hell of a difference in today's pharma markets. That is why they do it because it pays big time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So as to avoid these claims in the future, how does one go about it, so they have NO way in denying it!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter would know for sure. In my experience you need 3 things:
Evidence, evidence and evidence. This on any level the more the better (reps, DM, RM, Director, VP, CEO) but from higher you have it the better.
Now, in case you do go after them with the top kind of evidence, they will still deny it. That is their way of handling it. However the proper evidence in proper hands will win even against them. It's not easy and it's not cheap but is doable.

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