Tag Archives: Michael Loucks Pfizer Schering Plough Criminal Fines Celebrex Bextra Hassan Cox Deja Vu March 20 April 2 2010

“Seems There’s A Lot Of That Going Around” — Michael Loucks To Skadden Arps

Per The New York Times, this weekend (some of my earlier background on Mr. Loucks):

. . . .But a year and a half ago, Mr. Loucks, a Republican, left the United States attorney’s office in Boston after he was passed over for the top post and President Obama appointed a Democrat. Instead, Mr. Loucks joined Skadden, Arps last July, and has startled former allies by emerging in recent months as zealous a corporate defender as he was a prosecutor, complete with proposals seeking more lenient treatment for the medical companies he once vilified.

In a six-page memo last month to clients in his portfolio, which may include some of the very same corporations he prosecuted repeatedly, Mr. Loucks bemoaned strategies he had embraced.

“The government and the whistle-blower have an advantage,” he wrote, complaining that federal investigators were now using the law unfairly. “While prosecutors often assert the company has engaged in ‘serious’ misconduct, they keep the company in the dark, often for years, as to the specific allegations.”

Those who have known him are quick to recall that his crowning achievement was a $2.3 billion settlement against Pfizer that capped a four-year secret investigation. . . .

Indeed — one that grew out of Fred Hassan’s “leadership” (with the aid of Carrie S. Cox) — while still at Pharmacia (which they sold to Pfizer).

CNN To “Re-Cover” The Bextra® Promotion Crimes, This Weekend

Alerted by an eagle-eyed commenter, below, I’ll point everyone to this CNN Bextra® story — and though I saw little “new” in it — here’s a taste:

. . . .Imagine being charged with a crime, but an imaginary friend takes the rap for you.

That is essentially what happened when Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, was caught illegally marketing Bextra, a painkiller that was taken off the market in 2005 because of safety concerns.

When the criminal case was announced last fall, federal officials touted their prosecution as a model for tough, effective enforcement. “It sends a clear message” to the pharmaceutical industry, said Kevin Perkins, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

But beyond the fanfare, a CNN Special Investigation found another story, one that officials downplayed when they declared victory. It’s a story about the power major pharmaceutical companies have even when they break the laws intended to protect patients. . . .

It all looks a fair amount like the WaPo Bextra story I covered mid-March 2010, but do watch CNN, Saturday at 3 pm EDT, for the televised version of this story. Have a peaceful and joyous weekend, whether you are celebrating a holiday, or refraining from doing so. . . .