Pfizer to pay $1.3 billion criminal fine for misbranding its drugs

Monday, October 19, 2009
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)
Tags: Pfizer, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) In the largest criminal fine ever levied against any drug company in the world, a unit of U.S.-based Pfizer, Inc. was sentenced to pay $1.3 billion in criminal fines and revenue forfeiture. It's all part of a $2.3 billion settlement announced by the Justice Department. The case centers around Pfizer's criminal "off-label marketing" of four drugs, including the painkiller Bextra. After whistleblowers filed lawsuits in three states, the U.S. Justice Department took an interest in the case and prosecuted Pfizer for criminal acts.

In the settlement, Pfizer admitted to a felony crime and agreed to pay $2.3 billion in fines and other fees. The investigation of Pfizer reportedly turned up evidence that Pfizer engaged in kickback payments to doctors for nine drugs, including Viagra and Lipitor.

Part of the reason the penalty against Pfizer was so large is because the company was considered a "repeat offender" in promoting drugs for unapproved uses (which is a violation of federal law).

Off-label marketing makes a mockery of modern medicine

So-called "off-label" marketing of drugs is rampant in the pharmaceutical industry. Although the FDA, drug companies and many conventional doctors claim the drug industry is guided by a "gold standard" of scientific scrutiny, the truth is that pharmaceuticals are routinely marketed and prescribed for health conditions for which they have never even been studied... much less actually approved by the FDA. The fact that this continues today makes a mockery of any "scientific credibility" the pharmaceutical industry claims to possess.

Drug companies take advantage of this gaping hole in regulatory oversight by getting their drugs approved by the FDA for one health condition, then heavily promoting it for numerous unrelated conditions. A drug approved for high blood pressure, for example, could be openly marketed for diabetes or Alzheimer's disease even though there is no evidence whatsoever showing the drug to be either safe or effective for such conditions.

The same is true with the intended demographics of pharmaceuticals: Drug companies often get their drugs approved for adults, then they market those drugs to children even though the drugs have never been tested with children.

The result is a pharmaceutical industry that appears to be highly regulated, but isn't. Virtually any drug can be pushed for any disease for almost any reason -- all with virtually no oversight by the FDA. In fact, in this Pfizer case, even with the Justice Department filing criminal charges against Pfizer, the FDA has stood by and done absolutely nothing to prevent such actions from being repeated in the future by Pfizer or another drug company.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

In late 2013, Adams launched the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, where he conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants using high-end ICP-MS instrumentation. With this research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products to low levels by July 1, 2015.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at

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