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Coddling Pfizer: Praise the Criminal, Disregard the Whistleblower.

By CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER  Posted by Peter Rost (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Pfizer's Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc. unit pled guilty yesterday to offering a kickback in connection with the sale of its human growth hormone product.

The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post ignored the story.

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Why is unclear.

The settlement was a complicated one, negotiated by Jeremy Sternberg and Susan Winkler of the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston and by Pfizer attorney Ethan Posner.

Posner is a partner at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.

Posner did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

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A second Pfizer unit, Pharmacia & Upjohn Company LLC, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement for illegally promoting its human growth hormone drug Genotropin for such off-label uses as anti-aging, cosmetic use and athletic enhancement.

The companies will pay a total of $34.7 million in fines and penalties.

As a result of the plea agreement and the deferred prosecution agreement, Pfizer Inc. was granted a non-prosecution agreement.

Nice deal, if you can negotiate it.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan said Pfizer "acted responsibly" for voluntarily and fully self-disclosed the off-label promotion of Genotropin.

This ticked off Peter Rost.

Rost was a vice president at Pfizer when he discovered the criminality and blew the whistle.

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Rost has two lawsuits pending against Pfizer.

One lawsuit accuses Pfizer of violating the False Claims Act. That lawsuit is pending on appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

The other--for wrongful dismissal--is in discovery.

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