Would you trust convicted pedophile and elite sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein to babysit your kids? Of course not. So why would you trust a corrupt pharmaceutical company fined billions for lying about the safety of their drugs?
Pfizer is one of the main culprits responsible for the opiod crisis. Unless you live under a rock, you must be aware of the growing opiod crisis sweeping across America.
A Brief History of Today’s Opioid Epidemic
The opioid problem in the U.S. is huge and complex. Many factors have contributed to it becoming the deadliest drug epidemic in American history. Some events surely shaped the crisis and helped to explain how the situation spiraled out of control.
- 1995: Purdue Pharma receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for OxyContin, a potent opioid prescription painkiller.
- 1991–2011: Prescriptions for opioid painkillers triple in this period, likely in part due to doctors overprescribing these drugs and addicted patients “doctor shopping” (getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors).
- 1999–2003: The number of people who admit to using OxyContin for nonmedical purposes rose dramatically during this time, from 400,000 in 1999 to 1.9 million in 2002. It spiked to up to 2.8 million in 2003.
- 2007: Purdue Pharma pays a $634 million fine for “misbranding” OxyContin and falsely marketing it as a safer and less abuse-prone painkiller option, as well as misleading doctors, regulators, and patients about its high abuse potential and risk of addiction.
- 2009: During this year, about 1.2 million hospital emergency room visits were related to misuse or abuse of pharmaceutical drugs. This number is larger than the number of hospital emergency room visits related to illicit street drugs, and it reflects a 98 percent increase since 2004. The most prominent drugs involved in the emergency room visits were opioid painkillers, particularly OxyContin.
- 2010: Purdue Pharma releases a more abuse-resistant form of OxyContin. If a user tries to inject or snort the drug, it becomes a gummy hard-to-use substance.
- 2011: The FDA supports The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s report “Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis,” which outlines comprehensive plans to battle the ongoing opioid prescription drug epidemic.
- 2015: Opioid prescriptions fall 18 percent from a 2010 peak, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- 2008–2014: A Washington University School of Medicine study that involved opioid users during a seven-year period found that the number of those who used only prescription medications declined by 6.1 percent, while the number of those who used prescription opioids and heroin increased by 10.3 percent. The number of those who began using only heroin rose by 14.1 percent.
- 2019: Despite a reduction in opioid prescription drug prescriptions, the number of opioid-related deaths continues to rise. Many opioid prescription drug users have switched to more accessible street drugs, including heroin and fentanyl.
To date, 48 states have sued Purdue Pharma about OxyContin. Accusations include lying about the drug, exaggerating its benefits and safety, and downplaying its dangers and high addiction rate.
Big Pharma pays out approximately $30 billion per year in lawsuits and settlements. This is simply a cost of doing business as Big Pharma generates more than $300 billion in profits per year. That number has increased significantly thanks to the COVID-19 bioweapon and the totalitarian medical mafia driven overreaction to it.
Imagine, a corrupt profit driven Big Pharma company with a history of deception has been given a license to kill. They have zero liability for the incomprehensible damage done by their dangerous and deadly experimental mRNA gene therapy falsely being peddled as a “vaccine”.
Pfizer fined $2.3 billion for illegal marketing in off-label drug case
By Rita Rubin, USA TODAY September 2, 2009, 10:15 PM
In the largest health care fraud settlement in history, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer must pay $2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company illegally promoted uses of four of its drugs, including the painkiller Bextra, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Besides Bextra, the drugs were Geodon, an antipsychotic; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug. Once the Food and Drug Administration approves drugs, doctors can prescribe them off-label for any use, but makers can’t market them for anything other than approved uses.
Pfizer subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn pleaded guilty to a felony violation for promoting off-label uses of Bextra, such as for pain relief after knee replacement surgery. At the FDA’s request, Pfizer pulled Bextra off the market in April 2005 because its risks, including a rare, sometimes fatal, skin reaction, outweighed its benefits. It had been approved only for treating rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and menstrual pain.
As part of the settlement, Pfizer PFE will pay a criminal fine of $1.195 billion, the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the USA for any matter, according to the Justice Department. Pharmacia & Upjohn must pay a $105 million criminal fine.
Pfizer also has agreed to pay $1 billion in civil damages and penalties to compensate federal health-care programs for false claims submitted as a result of its marketing Bextra and the other four drugs for off-label use or at unapproved dosages.
In an interview Wednesday with USA TODAY, former Pfizer sales representative John Kopchinski said he was told to distribute 20-milligram samples to rheumatologists and orthopedists, even though the FDA had approved only 10-milligram doses for arthritis. The 20-milligram doses were approved only for menstrual pain, yet Kopchinski says he never called on gynecologists or other doctors who would treat that complaint.
In 2003, Kopchinski, 45, a West Point graduate, filed the first whistle-blower lawsuit, leading to the Justice Department investigation. Kopchinski says he was inspired by David Franklin, who filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against Pfizer for promoting Neurontin — at the time approved only to control seizures — for unapproved uses such as treating bipolar disorder.
When Kopchinski began questioning Pfizer’s marketing of Bextra and sued, Pfizer fired him, a violation of the anti-retaliation provision of the federal False Claims Act, says his attorney, Erika Kelton of the Washington, D.C., firm Phillips & Cohen. At the time, his son was 2 and his wife was pregnant with twins.
Kopchinski, who began working for Pfizer in 1992, says he was the last employee personally hired by former CEO Edward Pratt, with whom he began corresponding while serving in the first Gulf War.
Kopchinski says one night while on guard duty, he saw a photo of Pratt, now deceased, in Reader’s Digest and decided to write him to ask if he wanted to “adopt” his platoon. At the time, Kopchinski says, Pfizer owned Coty cosmetics, and Pratt, an assistant secretary of the Army in the Kennedy administration, responded by sending over three cases of cologne.
Although Kopchinski worked three years as a financial adviser after leaving Pfizer, he says, “I pretty much depleted my 401(k).”
Of the $102 million share of the settlement that will be divided among six whistle-blowers, Kopchinski will receive $51.5 million. To celebrate, he and his wife took their three children out of school Wednesday to have a new family portrait taken and to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s for pizza. Kopchinski, who now lives in San Antonio, says he and his wife plan to be stay-at-home parents.
Pfizer mentioned the $2.3 billion settlement this past January in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which it said it was taking a $2.3 billion charge against earnings related to lawsuits, but the lawsuits were sealed and the investigation ongoing at the time, so no details could be released, Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said Wednesday. Shares of Pfizer closed at $16.28, down 10 cents.
In a statement, Pfizer senior vice president and general counsel Amy Schulman said: “We regret certain actions taken in the past, but are proud of the action we’ve taken to strengthen our internal controls and pioneer new procedures.”
Pfizer is as powerful, or more powerful than governments. They are at the top of the Big Pharma medical mafia pyramid. Their power and influence to bribe and coerce their way to massive profits at the expense of the health of the public is well documented and should be more well known. Unfortunately, Big Pharma is the number one advertizer on TV. As a result, pharma companies weild immense power over the media and politicians.
The revolving door system of regulators regulating their former companies has been going on for decades. This alliance has created immense profits, but it has also caused the price of healthcare to skyrocket. The FDA revolving door system hires former big pharma executives to regulate the same companies they worked for. After serving their “term”, these regulators swing through the revolving door and go back to work for the same companies they left and regulated.
Big pharma regulation is a corrupt racket. Every drug the FDA has yanked as deadly and dangerous was first approved. This is what we can expect in the future regarding the deadly dangerous mRNA gene therapy being falsely labeled and marketed as a “vaccine”. mRNA vaccines could never be honestly approved. There were many attempts over the decades, but the mRNA gene therapies proved harmful to human health. This is why only through an endless “emergency” authoritzation could the pharma scammers peddle their poisonous injections to the public.
These are the facts.
The CDC has moved in lockstep with the World Health Organization. Both are corrupt organizations. Bill Gates and China are heavily invested in the UN/World Health Organization, who are following the authoritarian COVID-19 dictates of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2010 white paper, OPERATION LOCKSTEP. All of this is at the behest of the global elite at the World Economic Forum and their Great Reset and Build Back Better totalitarian collectivist agenda.
Department of JusticeOffice of Public Affairs
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Justice Department Announces Largest Health Care Fraud Settlement in Its History
Pfizer to Pay $2.3 Billion for Fraudulent Marketing
WASHINGTON – American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc. (hereinafter together “Pfizer”) have agreed to pay $2.3 billion, the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice, to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products, the Justice Department announced today.
Pharmacia & Upjohn Company has agreed to plead guilty to a felony violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for misbranding Bextra with the intent to defraud or mislead. Bextra is an anti-inflammatory drug that Pfizer pulled from the market in 2005. Under the provisions of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a company must specify the intended uses of a product in its new drug application to FDA. Once approved, the drug may not be marketed or promoted for so-called “off-label” uses – i.e., any use not specified in an application and approved by FDA. Pfizer promoted the sale of Bextra for several uses and dosages that the FDA specifically declined to approve due to safety concerns. The company will pay a criminal fine of $1.195 billion, the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the United States for any matter. Pharmacia & Upjohn will also forfeit $105 million, for a total criminal resolution of $1.3 billion.
In addition, Pfizer has agreed to pay $1 billion to resolve allegations under the civil False Claims Act that the company illegally promoted four drugs – Bextra; Geodon, an anti-psychotic drug; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug – and caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs for uses that were not medically accepted indications and therefore not covered by those programs. The civil settlement also resolves allegations that Pfizer paid kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe these, as well as other, drugs. The federal share of the civil settlement is $668,514,830 and the state Medicaid share of the civil settlement is $331,485,170. This is the largest civil fraud settlement in history against a pharmaceutical company.
As part of the settlement, Pfizer also has agreed to enter into an expansive corporate integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. That agreement provides for procedures and reviews to be put in place to avoid and promptly detect conduct similar to that which gave rise to this matter.
Whistleblower lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act that are pending in the District of Massachusetts, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Kentucky triggered this investigation. As a part of today’s resolution, six whistleblowers will receive payments totaling more than $102 million from the federal share of the civil recovery.
The U.S. Attorney’s offices for the District of Massachusetts, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Eastern District of Kentucky, and the Civil Division of the Department of Justice handled these cases. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts led the criminal investigation of Bextra. The investigation was conducted by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the Office of Criminal Investigations for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Veterans’ Administration’s (VA) Office of Criminal Investigations, the Office of the Inspector General for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Postal Service (USPS), the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units and the offices of various state Attorneys General.
“Today’s landmark settlement is an example of the Department of Justice’s ongoing and intensive efforts to protect the American public and recover funds for the federal treasury and the public from those who seek to earn a profit through fraud. It shows one of the many ways in which federal government, in partnership with its state and local allies, can help the American people at a time when budgets are tight and health care costs are increasing,” said Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli. “This settlement is a testament to the type of broad, coordinated effort among federal agencies and with our state and local partners that is at the core of the Department of Justice’s approach to law enforcement.”
“This historic settlement will return nearly $1 billion to Medicare, Medicaid, and other government insurance programs, securing their future for the Americans who depend on these programs,”said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services”The Department of Health and Human Services will continue to seek opportunities to work with its government partners to prosecute fraud wherever we can find it. But we will also look for new ways to prevent fraud before it happens. Health care is too important to let a single dollar go to waste.”
“Illegal conduct and fraud by pharmaceutical companies puts the public health at risk, corrupts medical decisions by health care providers, and costs the government billions of dollars,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “This civil settlement and plea agreement by Pfizer represent yet another example of what penalties will be faced when a pharmaceutical company puts profits ahead of patient welfare.”
“The size and seriousness of this resolution, including the huge criminal fine of $1.3 billion, reflect the seriousness and scope of Pfizer’s crimes,” said Mike Loucks, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. “Pfizer violated the law over an extensive time period. Furthermore, at the very same time Pfizer was in our office negotiating and resolving the allegations of criminal conduct by its then newly acquired subsidiary, Warner-Lambert, Pfizer was itself in its other operations violating those very same laws. Today’s enormous fine demonstrates that such blatant and continued disregard of the law will not be tolerated.”
“Although these types of investigations are often long and complicated and require many resources to achieve positive results, the FBI will not be deterred from continuing to ensure that pharmaceutical companies conduct business in a lawful manner,” said Kevin Perkins, FBI Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division.
“This resolution protects the FDA in its vital mission of ensuring that drugs are safe and effective. When manufacturers undermine the FDA’s rules, they interfere with a doctor’s judgment and can put patient health at risk,” commented Michael L. Levy, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “The public trusts companies to market their drugs for uses that FDA has approved, and trusts that doctors are using independent judgment. Federal health dollars should only be spent on treatment decisions untainted by misinformation from manufacturers concerned with the bottom line.”
“This settlement demonstrates the ongoing efforts to pursue violations of the False Claims Act and recover taxpayer dollars for the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” noted Jim Zerhusen, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
“This historic settlement emphasizes the government’s commitment to corporate and individual accountability and to transparency throughout the pharmaceutical industry,” said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. “The corporate integrity agreement requires senior Pfizer executives and board members to complete annual compliance certifications and opens Pfizer to more public scrutiny by requiring it to make detailed disclosures on its Web site. We expect this agreement to increase integrity in the marketing of pharmaceuticals.”
“The off-label promotion of pharmaceutical drugs by Pfizer significantly impacted the integrity of TRICARE, the Department of Defense’s healthcare system,” said Sharon Woods, Director, Defense Criminal Investigative Service. “This illegal activity increases patients’ costs, threatens their safety and negatively affects the delivery of healthcare services to the over nine million military members, retirees and their families who rely on this system. Today’s charges and settlement demonstrate the ongoing commitment of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and its law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those that abuse the government’s healthcare programs at the expense of the taxpayers and patients.”
“Federal employees deserve health care providers and suppliers, including drug manufacturers, that meet the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior,” said Patrick E. McFarland, Inspector General of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. “Today’s settlement reminds the pharmaceutical industry that it must observe those standards and reflects the commitment of federal law enforcement organizations to pursue improper and illegal conduct that places health care consumers at risk.”
“Health care fraud has a significant financial impact on the Postal Service. This case alone impacted more than 10,000 postal employees on workers’ compensation who were treated with these drugs,” said Joseph Finn, Special Agent in Charge for the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General. “Last year the Postal Service paid more than $1 billion in workers’ compensation benefits to postal employees injured on the job.”Component(s): Civil Division
Press Release Number: 09-900
Updated September 15, 2014