How come the largest helthcare fraud settlement doesn't even get a thread?

You would have thought it pertinent at this time that Pfizer - earlier in the week - was fined $2.3 billion for mispromoting medicines and for paying kickbacks to compliant doctors.

When the Associate A-G says:

you might think it relevant to the ongoing debate, but not a thread.

This was reported to death in the media, right?



This is happening and people are arguing about “death panals”?

Does the debate feel at all rigged?

After seeing this thread I was able to find a story on, but it was buried back in the Health section; it never made the front page.

No coverage of this at all in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that I’ve seen.

But then, if they have US$2.3 billion to spend on fines, I suspect they have enough to spend to keep it quiet in the news.

Woot! for the rule of money!


Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ on a Pogo Stick, are you tards completely blind? This shit has been all over the news for the past week.

It was on the front page of the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal, was a featured story on the BBC and CNN websites, and lit up the daily talkinghead shows like a motherfucking Christmas tree last week.

Maybe you should actually open your eyes and read more than your local Bumfuck Weekly Picayune-Pennysaver-Pigfarmer-Journal before declaring that the Evil Mainstream Media[sup]TM[/sup] has neglected to report on a record-setting fraud case affecting the largest American company in its sector.

I can say that NPR did report this as one of the headlines.

I’m surprised by the OP, but then again I do not follow mainstream news channels anymore because of examples like this one.

If most of the mainstream media refused to cover this properly, then, so much for the liberal bias that the right always assigns to the corporate news. Incidentally, I did check CNNmoney, but a link to that special report is not there with the other special reports links.

Hi, my name is GGObuster. I don’t actually watch the news, but that doesn’t stop me from having an opinion about it.

Why yes friedo, the comment about CNNmoney was directed at you.

It’s ok, the game isn’t rigged because friedo bought the NYT that day.

How about the main news bulletins? Plenty of reporting and debate?

BTW, now with the Internet one should be able to show what was said, but I do think that while it **was **reported, I do agree with the opinion that the debate of what it means to the current health care reform has been missing.

Reading the CNN piece, for example, the report avoids the current context. This case IMHO shows that having more oversight of the medical industry should be a part of the medical reforms that are pending in congress. We really are in trouble if we are depending mostly on whistle blowers to reveal fraud.

I was talking with my grandfather about this on Thursday.

Agree or disagree with Obama’s plan (though I don’t even know what that is), but it is so crystal clear that the system is fucked, and is not operating in any way in the best interest of the people. When a company like Pfizer can afford to pay a 2.3 billion dollar fine to the government for breaking the law, there’s a big problem. I can’t trust them because they are clearly lying, profiteering scumbags, and yet they might be the only source of medicine for my particular needs at some point.

It’s a sad sad time, when the corporations who have stewardship over my health and well being are motivated more by my money than they are by my goodwill and health. They will lie to me as much as they can get away with. Fuck 'em.

The NYT article say it was Pfizer’s fourth settlement over illegal marketing activities since 2002.

Money to burn.

And yet, the dimwits at the town hall meeting that took place in my town last week kept telling our representative that they don’t trust the government to be involved in their healthcare. What they didn’t say was that they instead do trust for-profit companies just like Pfizer who are continually willing to break laws and operate unethically to make as much money as they possibly can get away with making. They trust the companies who’s sole interest in them is how much money they can make off of them. Brilliant.

Well, they’re toast anyway, the American investor is simply not going to put his money in a company that rips off the American people, no matter how attractive the return might be! Lot of those investor types are Republicans, and you just don’t get any more patriotic than that, nosir!

Preparing to be outraged, I went to and found an article on this.

It appears that this issue is more complex than the OP’s quote indicates.


The drug industry — and even some doctors — downplay the frequency of illegal promotions and their effect on off-label prescriptions, which give doctors treatment flexibility.


So, if a drug company creates a drug and gets it approved for, say weight loss, but the drug can also be used to treat depression*, then the company cannot market the drug for depression unless it is approved by the FDA even if the drug has been studied by peer reviewed journals for the secondary effects.

While the actions of the drug companies are certainly wrong and need to get FDA approval, I don’t see this as nefarious.


Many Madoff investors felt he may have been doing something illegal. They figured they would just take the money and run . Money does not talk it screams be quiet. You don’t mess up a good thing , even if it is a big ripoff of people you might never meet.
This health care ripoff is one of thousands. The majority are from Pharma,doctors and hospitals.

Many Madoff investors felt he may have been doing something illegal. They figured they would just take the money and run . Money does not talk it screams be quiet. You don’t mess up a good thing , even if it is a big ripoff of people you might never meet.
This health care ripoff is one of thousands. The majority are from Pharma,doctors and hospitals.

You’re in danger of missing the point but before I restate that, let me remind you Pfizer pleaded guilty to fraud - Pfizer conceded both the criminal and civil case against them.

The main point is that, when reported at all, this case of historic proportions wasn’t allowed to contribute to the national non-debate on healthcare reform by the media whom the public are almost entirely dependant.

It’s not a stretch to compare the way the debate is stifled and manipulated to the polls after the invasion of Iraq when 70% of Americans believed Saddam was linked to 9/11.

The public haven’t a clue, they’re not allowed to.

What the fuck is the FDA for, other than making sure the drugs people are prescribed are actually effective and safe? If the FDA hasn’t approved a drug for a particular use, why in the world do people think it’s okay for doctors to prescribe that drug for that particular use?

The FDA makes sure that drug companies do not market drugs except for purposes for which the drugs have been deemed safe. How any drug is prescribed is up to the physician. Given the volume and success of off-label use, you would have a lot of unhappy, unhealthy people if it were banned.

One point I am not clear on is whether Pfizer itself was the one doing the bad marketing? Or was it the companies like Upjohn that Pfizer acquired and are now getting burned for?

In responding to some junk statistics quoted in another topic concerning UHC, I wasn’t very surprised to find the initial source was from Richard L. Scott’s ‘Conservatives for Patients’ Rights’ group. Mr. Scott was the same man on the board of Columbia/HCA at the time of one of the previous largest Medicare and Medicaid frauds (resulting in a fine of $1.7 billion dollars, and later forced out on this basis). It’s certainly relevant to understand the source of the information being proffered, and especially important with regard to statistics and their credibility. Frequently however people simply fail to understand the underlying technicalities of such information, and the extent to which they can be manipulated by people with a multi-billion dollar financial incentive.