Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pfizer tries yet fails to wriggle out of "bribery" scam


Pfizer Philippines today denied that it tried to bribe government and considered it a "direct affront" to its corporate reputation when Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile described their offer as a "bribe."

( By the way, read The Huff on history of Pfizer's alleged moves to "bully" the Philippine government to protect its anti-hyperintensive drug Norvasc from price ceilings. Read this link. Pfizer pala sued government in 2006 and even used its ties with the US State department to pressure our government to succumb to its whims)

Pfizer explained that the alleged offer to provide 5 million Sulit Patient Care discount cards was actually a plan to partner up with the Department of Health. Pfizer says its sulit cards are being used by 1.8 "indigent" patients throughout the Philippines. Pfizer just thought it wise to expand the program to include an additional 5 million people. The offer daw was made last May, weeks before the release of the list of drugs with maximum retail price ceilings.

Crap. Bull. Pfizer is definitely not telling us the truth.

Look, Pfizer and their PR handlers probably surmised that we're all suckers. In fact, their statement opened a Pandora's box of questions. Tangekngek ang mga PR nitong Pfizer!

First, if Pfizer was really telling the truth that the offer was "genuinely for indigent patients", then, why did they not offer it to the Department of Health at the time they conceptualize it? Why did Pfizer entered into agreements first with GSIS and Philhealth before going to DOH? What's so special with employees of GSIS and of PhilHealth?

Second, if Pfizer really was on this "with clean hands and with clean intentions," then, why was the offer made months before it was launched? The timing is very suspicious to say the least.

Third, if their sulit card program is really "above-board", then why was it rejected outright by Health secretary Francisco Duque Jr.? Some say, Duque favors Wyeth kasi. But, I don't think that's right. Duque probably thought it wise not to succumb to the tempting P100 M. Good for Duque.

Pfizer will find it very, very hard to wiggle themselves out of this mess. One principle in effective crisis management is---admit the truth. Don't lie. Try to be very transparent. In this case, palpak na agad ang Pfizer.

And this is a challenge to Senators Mar Roxas and Juan Ponce-Enrile and even to Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo----HUWAG PALAMPASIN ANG GINAWANG ITO NG PFIZER PATI NG MGA PHARMA COMPANIES. I ADMIRE YOU GENTLEMEN. DON'T LET THE PUBLIC DOWN. IF THESE PHARMA COMPANIES ARE NOT PUNISHED DESPITE ENRILE'S ASSERTION THAT THEY TRIED TO BRIBE GOVERNMENT, THEN, I'M SORRY BUT I HAVE TO WRITE THE TRUTH. DO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR PRINCIPLES, HONORABLE SENATORS.

I CHALLENGE MRS. ARROYO TO ORDER THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO FILE ATTEMPTED BRIBERY CASE AGAINST PFIZER AND OTHER PHARMA EXECUTIVES WHO WERE THERE LAST JULY 8, 2009. IF ARROYO IS REALLY HONEST IN HER ANTI-GRAFT CAMPAIGN, START WITH PFIZER.

PETER FAVILA SHOULD ALSO COME CLEAN AND REVOKE THE LICENSES AND REGISTRATION OF THESE PHARMA FIRMS, PARTICULARLY PFIZER. IF THEY DO THESE, I WILL STOP CRITICIZING THIS REGIME.

O, KAYA MO BA HA GLORIA?