Wow, this is some good stuff. Dr. Rost was a high-level Pharma executive with Wyeth, who, at some point, developed a conscience, and starting singing like a canary. For you youngsters, he's the Frank Serpico of the Pharma Industry! Here's a nice summation of misdeeds, misconduct, misappropriations and malfeasance by our high-tech drug pushers:
In 1997: After pulling Pondimin and Redux off the market because of heart valve damage, Wyeth was forced to set aside $21.1 billion to settle "fen-phen" liability cases.
In 2000: Wyeth signed an FDA Consent Decree and paid $30 million
In 2001: "TAP-Astra Zeneca Pay Over a Billion Dollar in Fines"--re: criminal marketing of Lupron.
In 2002: Pfizer paid $49 million to settle state and federal Medicaid fraud charges involving Lipitor.
In 2002: Schering-Plough signed a FDA consent decree and paid a $500 million fine--the biggest in FDA history.
In 2003: Bayer pled guilty to violating the federal Prescription Drug Marketing Act, paying $257 million including a criminal fine for its marketing of Cipro.
In 2003: GlaxoSmithKline shareholders questioned GSK CEO, Jean-Pierre Garnier, about his pay package to which he responded: "I am not Mother Teresa." [Heh! No, Frenchy you ain't!]GlaxoSmithKline also ran afoul of the IRS--it is facing a demand for $7.8 billion in backdated taxes and interest. [$7.8 Billion!!!!!! -- That's a whole lotta shekels!!!!]
In 2003: GSK signed a corporate integrity agreement and paid $88 million in a civil fine for overcharging Medicaid for the antidepressant, Paxil and nasal-allergy spray, Flonase
In 2004: Schering-Plough paid $345 million to resolve criminal and civil liabilities for illegal marketing of Calritin.
In 2004: Pfizer admitted criminal marketing of Neurontin, agreeing to pay $420 million.
In 2004: Merck withdrew its lethal painkiller, Vioxx. Estimates are that it would cost the company $50 billion. [$50 Billion?!!? Man-o-Manischewitz -- these numbers are making me dizzy. Can I get some Paxil?]
In 2004: The IRS served Merck with a "preliminary notice of deficiency" that could lead to $2.04 billion.
In 2004: New York State Attorney General slapped GSK with fraudulent marketing of Paxil--the company settled and posted its previously concealed pediatric clinical trial data. [Oops, ixnay on the axilpay.]
In 2004: Bristol-Myers Squibb was ordered by the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay $150 million to settle charges of inflating its revenue by $1.5 billion in 2000 and 2001. A separate criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney General's Office in NJ resulted in the indictment of two executives for securities fraud--the company agreed to pay $300 million to shareholders.
In 2005: Serono Laboratories (Switzerland) agreed to pay $704 million to resolve criminal and civil charges in connection with the marketing of Serostim, an AIDS drug. [What a surprise!]The company also pled guilty to marketing conspiracy. [Conspiracy theorists rejoice!]
In 2005: Eli Lilly pled guilty and paid $36 million for its illegal marketing of Evista for off-label uses.
In 2005: the Justice Department announced that GSK had paid "over $150 million to resolve allegations of violations to the False Claims Act through fraudulent drug pricing and marketing.
[Stunned silence in the court room....jury members avoid eye contact with the slick, high-priced, attorneys for the Defendant Pharmaceutical companies....one juror asks the judge if he can have a calculator:)]