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Big Pharma's Largest Settlements - It's not Pfizer
According to Violations Tracker, Pfizer does not hold the record - not by a long shot. By far, the largest investigations into Big Pharma resolved in 2020 & 2021, with minimal attention.
Big Pharma Loves You
Pharmaceutical companies have a long and sordid history of criminal behavior, and often times the crimes are far more heinous in jurisdictions where civilians have less protection from corporate crime. One of the great pivots in 2020 has been the concerted effort to make Big Pharma appear to be the saviors of mankind.
To my disappointment, this marketing campaign has worked wonders on my colleagues. During medical training, we were cautioned about prescribing new FDA-approved drugs to our patients, at least until several years of surveillance data was available. This wasn’t merely out of an abundance of caution. Pharmaceutical companies have beguiled our regulators for years - and in some cases our regulators have been co-conspirators. One study from Yale found that between 2001-2010, nearly one third of newly approved drugs were either withdrawn, given ‘black-box’ warnings or warranted a safety announcement about “new risks.”
Story of Purdue Pharma
Purdue was initially known for the production of Betadine, a brand-name antiseptic composed of povidone-iodine and used worldwide.
But their claim to fame is thanks to OxyContin. Owned by the Sackler family, Purdue has gained notoriety more for its marketing campaigns, as opposed to the value of the drugs they produce. In fact, mass production and prescription of opioids for everyday aches and pains was made possible by propaganda campaigns that Purdue was found guilty of. It is not unreasonable to say that the opioid crisis has caused more damage than any infectious outbreak.
For a thorough and eye-opening look into the marketing tactics (propaganda & gaslighting), politics, and “science” used to promote and distribute opioids to the US population - as well as the ensuing avalanche of drug abuse - the Hulu miniseries Dopesick is the way to go.
It took over 20 years to bring Purdue Pharma to justice.
With that settlement came the condition that the Sackler family would be shielded from further litigation. The Sackler’s removed exorbitant funds from Purdue, as part of a “restructuring plan,” and agreed to essentially bankrupt the company.
But, just when the Sackler’s thought they were in the clear, a federal judge ruled that the initial settlement, which involved a liability shield for the Sacklers, was unfounded and reversed the case.
With attention on all things COVID, it would not surprise me if most people have no idea that one of the largest criminal conspiracies in the history of the US Justice Department is currently under continued litigation. Not surprisingly, the perpetrator is a pharmaceutical company.
What happens to the Sackler family as a result of ongoing litigation is on my radar. The precedent set could re-define how the financiers of Big Pharma are held responsible for the damage they cause.
Pharma: Saviors or Criminal Enterprise?
Since the “just get vaxxed” echo-chamber was thrust onto the public in 2021, a lot of attention has been drawn to Pfizer and its record-setting $2.3 Billion settlement, which included a whopping $1.3 Billion in criminal fines. This held the record for the largest criminal fine in the history of the Department of Justice for many years. Just to clarify - that was the largest criminal fine for fraud delivered to any organization in the history of the USA. It was related to the drug pictured above, Bextra.
But that was in 2009 - does Pfizer still hold the record? This required further investigation, and led me down yet another rabbit hole.
Enter: Violation Tracker
On my search, I discovered a rather useful resource called Violation Tracker - a website with a wide-ranging database on corporate misconduct covering virtually every industry under the sun.
As you can see from the table above, after the finance sector, pharmaceuticals have aggregated the most penalties of any industry since the year 2000 - listed as just over $86 Billion.
But that’s not the real total. Further digging revealed the following findings:
Bayer’s violations are not listed under “pharmaceutical” industry, because the fines were as a result of the activity of Monsanto
Bayer owns Monsanto, and the consequences are still health-related
Bayer’s remaining violations are also excluded from the $86 Billion figure
J&J, McKesson, Cardinal Health, & AmerisourceBergen settled on a $26 Billion fine related to Opioid production & distribution
J&J’s contribution to that settlement is $5 Billion
The remaining $21 Billion is split between the other 3 distributors
With the above included, the total fines levied against pharmaceutical manufacturers & distributors is over $128 Billion - since the year 2000.
Although the financial sector has a higher total penalty compared to pharmaceuticals, the picture looks a little different if we compare average penalty-per-violation.
Despite the fact that the Financial sector has more than double the total fines of Pharmaceuticals ($334 Billion versus $128 Billion), the penalty-per-violation for Pharma is more than twice any other sector in history - a whopping $112 Million per violation.
So who holds the record?
Thankfully, Violation Tracker provides a spreadsheet with all the fines & settlements that the Justice Department has delivered to these companies. Based on this data, we have the following record holders…
Top 10 Highest Settlements Since the Year 2000
There are a couple of interesting things to point out here. First, the total fines levied against pharmaceutical companies as a result of the Opioid Epidemic currently sits at $34.3 Billion!
Second, in the years 2020 & 2021 pharmaceutical companies have been fined over $53 Billion.
Furthermore, Pfizer’s record for highest criminal settlement has been eclipsed by Purdue Pharma - $8.3 Billion compared to Pfizer’s $2.3 Billion.
But that fine was topped in the same year at $9.6 Billion to Bayer (and its subsidiary, Monsanto), as it relates to payouts to families affected by Roundup, an herbicide.
Friend or Foe?
The important question here is whether Pharmaceutical companies appear to have our best interest at heart. A question which equally applies to the financial sector.
The financial sector and central bankers have orchestrated a Ponzi scheme to steal your wealth & assets.
Historical record suggests that not only do pharmaceutical companies profit from mass production and distribution of drugs - but our own legal system has penalized them more than any other industry for each violation of civil and criminal law.
To these companies, this is the cost of doing business. Balancing legal repercussions with profits generated from production & distribution is the game.
Buried deeper in the hierarchy of these multinational corporations, I’m sure a few scientists & doctors care about the health of people. But, this is clearly not the driving force.
So when Pfizer or Moderna’s CEO goes on the news or some influencer’s platform and tell us:
The end is near! We are your only salvation!
You might want to reconsider the quality and intentions of your information source.
Especially when they are all brought to you by Pfizer.
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