Monday, December 20, 2010

Pfizer and Wikileaks

Democracy Now is reporting two stories based on documents released om Wikileaks of interest to health practitioners, both relating to the giant pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The first story, from Nigeria, starts in 1996 when Pfizer conducted a clinical trial on children with meningitis, allegedly without consent or safety standards and with allegations of fraudulent documents for an FDA audit. The Nigerian government sued Pfizer. The leak states that Pfizer hired investigators to dig up dirt about the Nigerian attorney general and get him to drop the case.

The second story Is from New Zealand but is directly relevant for Canada. The leaked documents suggest that Pfizer lobbied against a U.S. trade deal with New Zealand because of New Zealand's drug purchasing policies and that "drug companies tried to get rid of New Zealand’s former health minister."

If Canada were ever to introduce aggressive drug pricing, we can be certain that big pharmaceutical companies will be working hard - and viciously - to protect their interests.