PHARMA: When is a kickback not a kickback?

When it’s a sample and a legitimate consulting contract, of course. So despite the fact that their employer had settled with the government to the tune of $875m back in 1991 on related charges, eight TAP pharma executives were today aquitted on charges that they bribed physicians. This is great news for those in the murkier end of marketing in the pharma business, as they can go back to business as usual knowing that prosecutors likely won’t bring charges against them personally.

It’s probably also good news for Fastow, Skilling, Lay et al as they try to convince their juries that so long as "that’s how business is done" it can’t be illegal or unethical. It’s probably even better news for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al (and maybe also Michael Moore, although he only created a movie not an occupation) in that lying, cheating, stealing and using selective evidence is now fine so long as you can convince enough people that that’s the way things are done.

I assume a few of my regulars who’ve posted about this case before will have something to say soon enough!

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