The CBS Evening News and the AAJ are reporting that Pfizer was hit with $2.3 Billion in fines for for violating federal drug marketing rules. Pfizer was accused of promoting the pain medication Bextra for uses that were not approved.
ABC World News (9/2, story 2, 2:25, Gibson) reported that “Bextra became a blockbuster, bringing in $1.2 billion a year, as sales reps assured doctors it could be used not just for arthritis, but for any acute pain. The main whistleblower, a former company sales rep, said in a statement, ‘at Pfizer, I was expected to increase profits at all costs, even when sales meant endangering lives. I couldn’t do that.'” Meanwhile, “in exchange for hearing company sales pitches, doctors were paid up to $1,500 to attend meetings, and were treated to conferences at lush resorts, given air fare, hotels, meals, even massages.”