Monday, April 06, 2009

I Wonder If I Sold Shares Of Stock In Myself, The Way Pfizer Did, I Could Get Away With Murder, The Way Pfizer Did?

I think I would list my shares on the NASDAQ. It seems like all the young, hip, sexy companies are listed on the NASDAQ, and I am nothing if not young, hip, and sexy. On the other hand, Pfizer is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and if I want to kill people and get away with it, the way Pfizer did, maybe I should list myself on the NYSE, like Pfizer does. Maybe there's something in the fine print of the contract that gets your stock on the big board that lets you kill people. Like Pfizer did. 

At this point, many of you are probably waiting for an explanation. Here it is, from Saturday's Washington Post:

Pfizer has reached a broad agreement to pay millions of dollars to Nigeria's Kano state to settle a criminal case alleging that the drug company illegally tested an experimental drug on gravely ill children during a 1996 meningitis epidemic.

The details remain private, but sources close to the negotiations said the total payments -- including those to the children, their families, the government and the government's attorneys -- would be about $75 million under the current settlement terms. Other details, including how the money will be distributed, are to be worked out within weeks.

Nigerian authorities say Pfizer's infamous trial of the antibiotic Trovan killed 11 children and disabled scores more. The world's largest drug company says the deaths and injuries were the result of meningitis.

Here's a neat game. Imagine what would happen to you if you were responsible for the deaths of 11 children. Or for that matter, what would have happened if Pfizer had killed 11 American children. Visualize this for awhile and you'll start to see why I am so anxious to get my IPO off the ground. Because when you're a multinational corporation, as opposed to a mere human, you can go shopping for where life is the cheapest. Kinda like when I go to Wal-Mart to save a nickel on Windex. Except when Pfizer goes shopping people end up dead. I would like to have this ability. The way Pfizer does. 

But wait, it gets better:

Nigerian lawyers close to the negotiations, held over the past year in Nigeria, London and Dubai, told The Washington Post that Pfizer set a number of conditions, specifics of which remain undisclosed.

Soooooo....when you're a corporation, as opposed to a human,  on the off chance that there is some modicum of accountability when you kill people, you get to set conditions before agreeing to your own punishment! Sigh. I'm tired of being snarky. Fuck this shit. 

An attorney for the Nigerian government who spoke on the condition of anonymity said a sticking point in recent negotiations was Pfizer's request that authorities absolve the company of wrongdoing.

Absolve the company of wrongdoing. 

...the company relied on a falsified ethics approval letter. Researchers also gave children substandard doses of a comparison antibiotic, the articles added.

Fuck. You. Pfizer. I don't care if you can make my willy hard. 

Wait, maybe I'm being unfair, after all, this company does have the power to make my willy hard. Let's see what Pfizer has to say:

Pfizer defended its drug trial in a 2007 statement, saying it was conducted safely, legally and "with the full knowledge of the Nigerian government." The company said Trovan demonstrated the highest survival rate of any treatment at the field hospital.

Remember the part about substandard doses of a comparison antibiotic?  Yup. Pfizer defended itself by saying its antibiotic did better than than another that was being given at too low of a dose. The result? Pfizer gets fined about 14 hours of its fiscal 2008 revenue. The equivalent of fining me about $750. 

Except I didn't forge anything. Or design a flawed scientific study. Or kill anyone. Like Pfizer did. 

I need to talk to a lawyer about incorporating myself tomorrow.  

Thanks to The PharmD Student for pointing me to the story. 


Rev. T. Monkey said...

Perhaps instead of paying out the nose to Big Pharma for fruitless treatments after we each receive our terminal diagnosis (thanks to drinking pharma-soaked tap water), we should track the Big Pharma CEOs and corporate execs down and perform a couple of experimental treatments on them.

Wow. I just made my own willy hard.

Anonymous said...

This is disgraceful. Do you think they honestly think they did no wrongdoing? Or are they THAT, well...evil?

I tend to see the better in people more than most, so I'm TRYING to think there's remorse somewhere under that greedy-fuck-you attitude. =(

I'm quite disheartened.

Evil motherfuckers.

Beloved Parrot said...

I recall reading John LeCarre's novel about this kind of thing, and thinking it was so outlandish that no company in real life would do such a thing.

Naive, I know.

DrugMonkey, these horrible things you show us hurt my heart.

I wish there was something I could do to neutralize some of the evil out there.

Delerium Tremens said...

With the full knowledge of the Nigerian government. Hah.

The same Nigerian government that ranks as one of the most corrupt political entities in the world, no doubt. There's a cogent defense for you. Congratulations, Pfizer.

Even if Pfizer ends up paying (which I doubt), it'll likely wind up lining the pockets of some bureaucrat.

What a joke.

arollerskatingjam said...

Eww, yuck.

Nana Jackie said...

I have only two words:

"Constant Gardener"

Romius T. said...

Can some one please explain to me why we let this shit happen? We need to riot in the fucking streets...

Beloved Parrot said...

YES, Romius T, YES! I believe the French had a revolution over less than this . . .

midwest woman said...

ahh romius this is why you optd out of real life..maybe alll african children should be sheletered under the benovelent umbrellas of madonna and anglie, the two greatest huminarians of the 21st century...then these icky yucky things wouldn't happen

Anonymous said...

DM, I will partner you in a heartbeat. Our IPO will make Martha Stewart look like a puss.... wait, she is a puss.... lemme think about this,.... You call it alcoholism, I call it chemotherapy.

Anonymous said...

Hey, big pharma and any other big corpo get away with 'using',
'accidentally exposing',
'perpetrating', etc. lots of third world countries with unhealthy and potentially dangerous experiments incompatible with life...e.g. pesticides, defoliants, tobacco, (remember opium in Far East), free aborts (had to throw in that one), etc. Too bad conscionable citizens of the developed countries can't control actions of their own citizenry when attempting to foist capitalistic ploys on tyrannically run third-world countries.