Pfizer to pay $142M for drug fraudThe ones it kept hidden, you say? Interesting.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has been ordered to pay $142 million US in damages for fraudulently marketing gabapentin, an anti-seizure drug marketed under the name Neurontin.
Data revealed in a string of U.S. lawsuits indicates the drug was promoted by the drug company as a treatment for for pain, migraines and bipolar disorder — even though it wasn't effective in treating these conditions and was actually toxic in certain cases, according to the Therapautics Initiative, an independent drug research group at the University of British Columbia.
The trials forced the company to release all of its studies on the drug, including the ones it kept hidden.
Because, you see, while ASH will point continually to big tobacco bias and suppression of harm from passive smoking, they are very coy about telling you that the tobacco industry hasn't been able to hide anything at all since 1998. The, ahem, unelected World Health Organisation even has a document advising on how to search their exposed files.
Strangely enough, the pharma-funded (and, did I mention, unelected?) WHO is much quieter in pointing out wrong-doing by the pharmaceutical industry.
Still. Perhaps I'm making too much of Pfizer's potentially health-damaging fraud. After all, it's just a one off.
Pfizer agrees record fraud fineDo you know what? I reckon, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, that this Pfizer may very well be the same Pfizer who market a smoking cessation drug called Champix (Chantix in the US), otherwise known by its clinical name of Varenicline.
US drugmaker Pfizer has agreed to pay $2.3bn (£1.4bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice.
It comes after the firm was found to have illegally promoted four drugs for uses which had not been approved by medical regulators.
If you're alert this Monday morning, you may remember that Policy Exchange's Henry Featherstone had quite a lot to say about that particular drug in his execrable nonsense earlier this month.
Such a hypothesis may explain why, at times, the report resembled an elaborate advert for smoking cessation drug Varenicline.Henry didn't tell you that. He also didn't tell you that he was deeply involved with ASH, and that ASH are deeply involved with Pfizer.Varenicline is the most cost-effective treatment option in the NHS Stop Smoking Service. Studies consistently demonstrate it to be superior to any other therapy, but it is only used in 20% of cases. Varenicline should be offered as first line drug treatment for all patients wishing to quit smokingOn page 9, it even commands its own sub-heading and almost the entire page is taken up with boasts about its efficacy, culminating in the recommendation:The NHS Stop Smoking Service should offer varenicline as first line drug treatment for all patients wishing to quit smoking.PE is amazed that it is not prescribed more often, stating.[...] the [NHS] only prescribes varenicline in 20% of cases, since it is often confined to patients who have failed with NRT. There is no good reason why all patients should not be offered itWell, actually, there is.
Varenicline is more readily known as Champix or Chantix and makers Pfizer have been slapped with the strongest possible warning in the US due to its habit of inspiring people to kill themselves.
What's more, he didn't even consider it necessary to inform you, and the rest of the world, that PCTs are paid for pushing a drug which has been ruled as a danger in the US, as I mentioned elsewhere back in June with reference to the Warwickshire PCT.
GPs and Pharmacies are reimbursed for service delivery (inflation still to be applied for 09-10):And that Pfizer are heavily involved in the process.
£10.50 for each client setting a quit date
£40 for each client still quit at 4-week follow-up
£10.50 for each client not quit at 4-week follow-up. No additional payment for those not followed up at 4 weeks.
Pharmacies only - £3 per supply of NRT
Contact 1: Plan strategy for quitting, including assessment for drug therapy including carbon monoxide test, access to nicotine replacement therapy, Zyban® or Champix®
Contact 2: Possible quit date
Ensure access to NRT, Zyban® or Champix®. Carbon monoxide test
Joint working with Pfizer around targeting of clinics/drop-insOne has to admire Henry's gumption in defending his heart-ruling-head poppycock, but the fact remains that he is, effectively, shilling for a company which has been proven to have been fraudulent on two separate occasions in the US in promoting dangerous drugs, as well as having the panacea Henry was advocating being awarded a big black health warning by the FDA.
Joint working with Pfizer to develop more effective recruitment campaigns in N&B, also targeting health professionals to refer more and more effectively.
I wonder if Henry will someday tell us which organisation paid for his quite laughable economic report.
Probably not. But I reckon we could hazard a guess.