Dec. 9, 2010 Pfizer squirms on Wikileaks revelations as Wikileaks latest release reveals Pfizer investigated a Nigerian attorney general who was on a legal case against Pfizer. The drug company was found to have used dirty tricks and conducted an illegal drug trial on Nigerian children.
The bombshell released on cables from US diplomats through Wikileaks ago is hitting the internet including Twitter, Facebook on the information that the US giant drug maker:
1) Pfizer hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against an attorney general who was proceeding with the case against Pfizer. The plan was to get evidence and convince the prosecutor to drop the case brought on by the Nigerian government.
2) Pfizer conducted an illegal drug trial on Nigerian children in 1996 to test a meningitis drug called Trovan. The drug which killed 11 children and left many permanently disabled then sparked a law suit and the two cases against Pfizer was for 6 billion dollars in damages.
3) The drugmaker was accused of misleading parents of the sick children with meningitis with an experimental drug which was given to 200 children. The drug Trovan proved fatal in 11 cases and damaged dozens of other children the total of which is unknown.
4) Pfizer failed to follow the proper channels and obtain proper regulatory approval for the drug trials.
Later, Pfizer signed a fraction of the full amount of the lawsuit which was only a 75 million dollar settlement on July 30th and the details are sketchy but they do involve the US Embassy.
Report Sources : Reuters Pfizer Took Aim at AG
Pfizer (PFE.N) has not responded to the reports but the Guardian on their website indicated that a memo was leaked to Wikileaks and involved a memorandum which mentioned a meeting between Pfizer’s manager Enrico Liggeri and U.S. officials which suggested that Pfizer did not want to pay to settle the two cases brought about by the Nigerian government. Pfizer is implicated in the cable but why is the U.S. Embassy involved in a judicial trial in a foreign country and what was communicated between that embassy and the pharmaceutical Pfizer corporation?
“ According to Liggeri, Pfizer had hired investigators to uncover corruption links to the Nigerian Federal Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa to expose him and put pressure on him to drop the federal cases”
The April 2009 cables from the desk of Economic Counselor Robert Tansey of the U.S. Embassy:
The Embassy Cables via The Guardian UK :
5. (C) In follow up to the April 2 meeting, EconDep met with Pfizer Country Manager Enrico Liggeri in Lagos on April 9. (Note: Liggeri has years of experience in Nigeria because his family operated a business in Lagos from the early 1960s to the late 1980s. He spent most of his childhood in Lagos. End Note.) Liggeri said Pfizer was not happy settling the case, but had come to the conclusion that the $75 million figure was reasonable because the suits had been ongoing for many years costing Pfizer more than $15 million a year in legal and investigative fees. According to Liggeri, Pfizer had hired investigators to uncover corruption links to Federal Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa to expose him and put pressure on him to drop the federal cases. He said Pfizer’s investigators were passing this information to local media, XXXXXXXXXXXX. A series of damaging articles detailing Aondoakaa’s “alleged” corruption ties were published in February and March. Liggeri contended that Pfizer had much more damaging information on Aondoakaa and that Aondoakaa’s cronies were pressuring him to drop the suit for fear of further negative articles. end quote.
In this piece of the cable from Tansey it illustrates the threatening language the Pfizer representative used to coerce the Nigerian government to get them to drop the case against Pfizer.
Pfizer claimed the lawsuits were political in nature which was not the case because it involved 11 dead children and the families that lost these children which seemed insignificant to Pfizer.
Quote : 6. (C) Liggeri commented that the lawsuits were wholly political in nature because the NGO Doctors Without Borders administered Trovan to other children during the 1996 meningitis epidemic and the Nigerian government has taken no action. He underscored that the suit has had a “chilling effect” on international pharmaceutical companies because companies are no longer willing to conduct clinical testing in Nigeria. Liggeri opined that when another outbreak occurs no company will come to Nigeria’s aid.
Instead of giving the settlement to the families and the children who were disabled it appears that Pfizer was dictating the terms of who should get the money and hinted that 35 million be used to rebuild a hospital for infectious diseases instead. Pfizer also discussed putting the money into a trust fund monitored by an outside neutral party and that the remaining 30 million be used to improve health care. Obviously the money would be used to improve Pfizer’s foot hold on testing more drugs and this is with the full co-operation and U.S. government which at some point was aware of the backhanded tricks and had some involvement in the legal case before the court in a foreign country.
Here is the transparency issue. Robert Tansey had no business getting involved in the legal actions of the Nigerian government and as a U.S. Embassy representative of the US government it is evidence that Tansey was fully aware of what Pfizer was doing in order to affect a positive outcome of the legal case before the courts.
This is blatantly corruption that is exposed and revealed in the Wikileaks documents proving the US is complacent in favor of the corporate interests of Pfizer.
Pfizer used political pressure on the Attorney General by using the US Embasy and the Nigerian Government itself to drop the 2 billion dollar lawsuit to a small pitiful amount of which 50 percent never went to the families of the dead children. The money was used to build a hospital for which Pfizer would benefit by testing more of their drugs and taking advantage of a third world country. The complete terms of the agreement remained confidential.
The withdrawal of the case is a secret, as well as the terms of the settlement which were never revealed nor is the amount of money that changed hands, who received the money and who benefited from the deal is all very confidential.
The conduct of Pfizer and the US Embassy are co-conspirators in secret dealings, undisclosed agreements with government officials involving a legal case and if the victims of Pfizer’s illegal drug tests and trials received any compensation brought out in the law suit they most likely received a tiny fraction of the settlement if any of the money.
What is clear is that Pfizer is taking it’s drug trials to third world countries where the population is vulnerable to needing health care and preying on the unsuspecting. Further Pfizer uses back room deals, hires investigators to gain advantages illegally on legal representatives in a lawsuit involving billions of dollars and avoiding following regulations as it would have to follow in the United States.
Tags: Pfizer circumvents legal system in Nigeria, Pfizer’s illegal drug trial in Nigeria, Meningitis drug Trovan causes death in Nigerian children, Pfizer illegal tricks on lawsuit, Nigerian Attorney General deals with Pfizer, 6 billion dollar case against Pfizer riddled with corruptive practices.
Pfizer in other Court Battles:
In other news about Pfizer, comes from one of their own employees Becky McClain who is alleging in a Federal court, that Pfizer subjected her to unhealthy and dangerous conditions while she worked at their Groton Connecticut plant. McClain is a molecular biologist who had initially raised her concerns to the OSHA -Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Pfizer retaliated by firing Becky McClain which is illegal under US laws, even after numerous documents showed safety complaints and illnesses in her department.
The OSHA has been dismantled over the last decade and there is no mandated laws on the biotech or nano technology industry, therefore safety is not a concern for the US government due to lack of proper regulation.
McClain alleges she was exposed to infectious genes, and genetically engineered viruses which made her sick but Pfizer did nothing about it.
Pfizer refuses to release information regarding their factory made viruses and this illustrates how powerful Pfizer has become and the lack of government safety inspections in this highly dangerous virus creation industry.
Serious Public Health Issues on Genetically Engineered Viruses at Pfizer Laboratories-Here is her Report
Dangers being Hidden from the Public – by Becky McClain with 23 years of biotechnology and is a Molecular Biologist.