Time: "Curbing Drug-Company Abuses: Are Fines Enough?"
"The government pretends to go after these guys, the companies pretend to follow the law, but it's just a game for the consumption of the masses; so people will think that the wheels of justice are actually moving," says Peter Rost, a former senior Pfizer marketing executive.
If the government were more serious, Rost contends, it would double the funding for prosecutions so that Justice could go after more than a fraction of the cases and bring more companies to trial. "I think until that happens this game will go on," says Rost. "It's obviously great for drug companies, its great for the lawyers, it's great for the Justice Department to bring in a token scalp every now and then, so everybody involved wins, and that is why it continues."
The government is beginning to share the critics’ view. "These are legitimate concerns," concedes Lewis Morris, chief counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services’ unusually powerful Inspector General’s office, which is a key player in the search for ways to combat recidivism among pharmaceutical companies. He says the government is stepping up its enforcement and beginning to flex its considerable regulatory authority more robustly. This includes plans to target responsible executives — not just companies — by toughening the CIAs to require management and a board committee to certify company compliance.
Read more in Time Magazine.