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PHARMA: Is Pfizer’s Black Knight on the way out?

So the slow burn of Peter Rost’s time at Pfizer appears to be picking up. The NY Times reports that he’s essentially been comparing him with the Black Knight (in Monty Python and the Holy Grail) in not noticing how bad his situation really is. But in the NY Times article a couple of interesting things are revealed. It’s already known that Rost sued and beat his previous employer Wyeth in a whistleblower-type scenario when Wyeth was underpaying taxes.  Rost may also be involved in some kind of a whistle-blower suit currently, as according to the Times "Pfizer disclosed that the Justice Department had opened an
investigation into its marketing of genotropin, the growth hormone Dr.
Rost was responsible for selling at Pharmacia".
Presumably if Rost was a bad guy in that scenario Pfizer would happily fire him, so it must be assumed that he’s probably a whistleblower or at least neutral.

The whole thing about reimportation is of course ridiculous. In Europe the courts have just ruled that "parallel trading" is legal, and you don’t see the drug industry give up selling its products in Europe because of that. If Canadian imports were legal here, there wouldn’t be that much difference to the current market.  But that’s an old discussion and we know the positions there are not going to change much.

The interesting point is that Rost gets $600,000 a year to do whatever he’s doing at Pfizer, and of course he can’t leave that and get anything like as much anywhere else. Those of you who consider that you’re selling your souls to big pharma/corporate American might wonder whether you are getting your fair share!

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John MackDuncan Kindergadfly Recent comment authors
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John Mack
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To be accurate, the NY Times did NOT compare Rost to the Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” That comparison was actually made by me in the Pharma Marketing Blog post that reported on the Times article.
Please see “Peter Rost: Pharma’s Black Knight.” (http://pharmamkting.blogspot.com/2005/06/peter-rost-pharmas-black-knight.html)
Thanks!
john Mack

Duncan Kinder
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Unfortunately for United States advocates of US drug importation, many Canadians are now advocating Canada ban drug exportation.
The reason: Canada’s drug policy was designed to service 32 million Canadians, not 282 North Americans. They lack the pharmacists or supplies to handle their own if Americans massively import.
A strong measure now is before the Canadian parliament and is supported by many Canadian political parties.

gadfly
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gadfly

I sort of like the idea that at that level of income, Rost should be able to retire at any time and live the rest of his life doing whatever he wants. If there’s no pressure of job loss ruining your life, then there’s no constraint on speaking out. It’s strange to me that popular culture celebrates people who have the character to overcome professional and social pressures to do the right thing. The idea is that “just following orders” is no excuse, and a good person has the courage to challenge evil. However, when real people buy into that… Read more »