Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day12Fixed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Oops, They Did It Again

What Integrity Means to Pfizer

by MARTHA ROSENBERG

The satire was biting:

"Thanks for making time to see me today," posted a rep on cafepharma about a fictitious sales meeting with a psychiatrist. "Now, I know that you used Neurontin in the past for every condition under the sun. Pfizer knows very well that you guys were and still continue to be the largest writers of off-label Lyrica and so, in the spirit of Bextra [withdrawn in 2004] will you please write Lyrica as much as possible? Remember Dr, this is Pfizer. The company that never met an off-label sale that it wouldn’t cover-up."

Don’t forget, writes the next poster on the pharma site, the psychiatrist answers, "Great! and I also heard that it is about to be approved on state Medicaid and I can write it for anything. Is this true?" to which the rep assents in defiance of, "that nice little 2004 CIA agreement."

Pfizer’s nice little 2004 "CIA" or Corporate Integrity Agreement in which a company promises to sin no more to which the poster refers was for fraudulent marketing of seizure drug Neurontin. It was preceded by a CIA for fraud related to Pfizer’s cholesterol drug, Lipitor, in 2002.

And this month it’s followed by a CIA for mis-marketing pain drug Bextra, antipsychotic Geodon, seizure drug Lyrica and antibiotic Zyvox.

Pfizer’s $2.3 billion health care fraud settlement with the government announced this month by the US Department of Justice adds some firsts to the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company.

It is the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice "to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products,"–and the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the United States. It covers Pfizer’s kickbacks to health care providers and false claims submitted to government health care programs, also known as our tax dollars, in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Forty-three states will share in the "give backs."

But it is not exhaustive.

In July, Pfizer signed a $75 million agreement with Nigerian authorities to settle criminal and civil charges over the deaths and injuries of children given its unapproved antibiotic Trovan in 1996 now restricted for US use except in extreme cases by FDA.

Pfizer has been funding the "grassroots" organization National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) according to Pfizer rep Mark R. Westlock, a whistleblower whose testimony was included in the Bextra settlement and whose case against Pfizer is posted on Bnet.

And Scott S. Reuben, MD, former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA and paid Pfizer speaker was found to have faked Bextra and Lyrica pain studies on which medical practice was based in a long medical con exposed this year–not just making up data but making up patients. PS The studies were retracted from medical journals.

Pfizer’s illegal Neurontin marketing featured the "usual suspects" of off-label marketing, kickback schemes, Medicaid fraud and falsified science.

But apparently New York City-based Pfizer didn’t learn its lesson. Part of the $2.3 billion settlement announced this month includes payments to states for illegally promoting its antipsychotic Geodon for unapproved uses like treating children and dementia in the elderly.

In fact FDA is considering approval of Geodon for "the acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder, with or without psychotic features, in children and adolescents ages 10 to 17" even as the settlement ink dries in what seems a little… retroactive. Seated on the FDA advisory panel in June as a citizen providing sunshine was a member of the Pfizer financed NAMI.

Pfizer representatives were fixtures at Western State Hospital, a mental hospital near Lakewood, WA, according to the News Tribune, where 118 prescriptions were written for Geodon on a single day, December 6, 2006.

Asked by reporter M. Alexander Otto in 2007 why reps made almost 200 visits in four years, Pfizer company spokesman Bryant Haskins said, "That’s where our customers are."

See: "That’s where the money is." (William"Willie" Sutton, bank robber.)