Too Big To Fail
In the sentencing memo related to Pfizer's third CIA, the Department of Justice wrote that "illegal conduct was pervasive throughout the company and stemmed from messages created at high levels within the national marketing team." Employees, it wrote "including district managers, explained that they did not question their supervisors about the illegal conduct that they were being instructed to carry out, because to do so would be considered a 'CLM' or 'Career-Limiting Move.'"
Yet, when I asked industry analysts why the company is not shut down, blocked from tax-supported programs like Medicare that enrich it and/or its officers tried and jailed, Peter Rost, MD, author of The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman, told me "So many Medicaid, Medicare and VA drugs come from Pfizer, the government would never convict them. It would stop the drug flow."
Jim Edwards, former managing editor of Adweek, agreed. "Pfizer is the largest drug company in the world and if you include its generics unit it makes literally hundreds of different drugs. Getting tough would mean no Lipitor, no Viagra, no Bacitracin, no Cipro, no Zithromax, no Sutent, et cetera," he told me. "The government is not really in a position to be cutting itself off from all that medicine."
Pfizer is too big to fail or be regulated and so, apparently, is its tax dodge. But the tax evasion is not all bad news. Pfizer CEO Ian C. Read told lawmakers and administration officials this week that Pfizer's lower tax bill will give it more cash to invest in the US and add jobs!
(Article changed on November 29, 2015 at 17:02)
(Article changed on November 29, 2015 at 17:04)