In 1996 Pfizer carried out unlicensed medical trials of its drug Trovan on sick children in a Nigerian slum, leaving 11 dead and many more plagued by serious long-term side effects. Trovan was banned and Pfizer eventually paid a $75 million settlement. Pfizer was forced to pay $430 million in 2004 for illegally marketing the drug Neurontin for unapproved uses. Despite pledging to obey the law, Pfizer was levied a $2.3 billion fine in 2009 for once again recommending its drugs for potentially dangerous uses. The largest criminal fine in history, it amounted to less than three weeks of the pharmaceutical giant’s sales, and business continues as usual.
Why should Pfizer be too big to fail? From Philip Morris to Goldman Sachs to Exxon Mobil, corporations that break the public trust must be held criminally responsible for their actions. Send an email to the Attorney General asking him to adopt a three strikes rule against corporate criminals. Break the public trust three times and you’re out: We’ll revoke your corporate charter and put you out of business. No exceptions.
Which corporate crooks do you think should be first to the chopping block?