Pfizer Inc: Influence/Lobbying

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Pfizer Inc

 


Influence / lobbying

 

 


 

Lobbying groups

 

In our globalised world, there are few industries that come close to the pharmaceutical industry in the reach and the impact it has on the lives of ordinary citizens. One reason for this is obvious: pharmaceutical companies trade in health, a basic need and what should be a basic right for all people. An equally powerful reason is the strength of the industry. According to the Financial Times, five of the top ten companies with the most profitable foreign operations were pharmaceutical companies [13].

Economic heavyweights can easily get their voices heard within political arenas, because economic and political interests are always intertwined. Pfizer is said to be the most powerful political lobbyist of the pharmaceutical industry, and the drug giant is constantly using this power to make regulations, laws and policies suit its own profit-driven interest. E.g., Pfizer encouraged US politicians to threaten trade sanctions against poor countries producing or importing ‘cheap’ generic drugs, and the company pushed for a strict patent law within the World Trade Organisation.

Pfizer is a member of all major corporate lobby groups on all levels (local, national, regional, and global). The overview below is far from complete, but is intended to cover the major ones. Besides, lobby practices take place through formal as well as informal channels. Many agendas, policy proposals are being carved out behind closed doors. On the one hand, multinationals are very keen to show the world how powerful they are (e.g. stating they have access to politicians at the highest levels, that they are indispensable partners in policymaking processes, etc.). On the other hand, they are not very open about their actual involvement in politics. That’s tricky.

US, Pfizer’s home base:

 

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
PhRMA represents America’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to ‘inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, happier, and more productive lives.’ Pfizer CEO Henry A. McKinnell is chairman of PhRMA’s Board of Directors. PhRMA is the industry’s most powerful lobby group. Web site: www.phrma.org

See the ‘links with government’ section for more information about the cosy relationship between PhRMA and the US government

Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
BIO is the largest trade organization serving and representing the emerging biotechnology industry in the United States. BIO represents more than 830 companies, academic institutions and state biotech centres in 47 states and 26 nations. [obviously these figures change quickly over time] Pfizer is a major advocate of biotechnology and hopes, aiming at a growing market of wealthy consumers that new inventions in this field will make the production of individually tailored medicines possible. Web site: www.bio.org

United States Council for International Business (USCIB)
Founded in 1945 to promote an open world trading system, now among the premier pro-trade, pro-market liberalization organizations. USCIB has an active membership base of over 300 multinational companies, law firms and business associations. The lobby group is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD and the International Organization of Employers.

‘USCIB provides unparalleled access to international policy makers and regulatory authorities, and has over 50 specialized policy committees and working groups.’ Web site: www.uscib.org

Business Roundtable (BRT)
‘The Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations with a combined workforce of more than 10 million employees in the United States. The chief executives are committed to advocating public policies that foster vigorous economic growth; a dynamic global economy; and a well-trained and productive U.S. workforce essential for future competitiveness. Established in 1972, the Roundtable was founded in the belief that chief executives of major corporations should take an increased role in the continuing debates about public policy.’ [14]

The Business Roundtable works through Task Forces, each headed by a CEO and each focusing on specific issues. The Task Force develops positions on international trade and investment issues to enhance the competitiveness of US business in global markets. In 2000, Pfizer CEO William Steere headed the Corporate Governance Task Force. Web site: http://brtable.org

American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham)
AmCham, or the EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce, is a lobby group representing US-based corporations in the European Union. It became one of the first industry lobby groups to systematically monitor and influence European Commission policy making. Pfizer, Boeing, Du Pont, Exxon, General Motors, McDonald’s, Monsanto and Procter & Gamble are among the 145 plus industrial giants gathered under the lobby group’s umbrella. In total, AmCham companies currently have approximately three million employees and US$350 billion worth of investment in Europe [15]. Web site: www.eucommittee.be

Advisory Committees
These formal advisory committees are positioned between the US government and various business sectors; they serve as channels through which business can communicate its needs to the US government. The advisory committees are being trusted upon to define problems and carve out policy proposals. They easily find an audience (after all, it is widely believed that ‘what’s good for business, is good for the country’). Through the advisory committees, the private sector can play a vital role in policymaking processes.

American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
Pfizer is among the big multinationals sponsoring the ACSH [16]

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UK:

 

Pfizer is a member of many corporate lobby groups in the UK. In the field of pharmaceuticals, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is the most important. The ABPI is the trade association for about a hundred companies in the UK producing prescription medicines. Its member companies research, develop, manufacture and supply more than 90 per cent of the medicines prescribed through the National Health Service (NHS). The ABPI claims to be the leading body in representing the industry view to governments and decision-makers, and aims at shaping and directing legislation affecting the industry.

Pharmaceutical Industry Competitive Task Force (PICTF)
PICTF entails a partnership at the highest levels between Government and industry.

In the preface of the so-called PICTF final report (March 2001) co-chairmen lord Hunt and Dr Tom McKillop state: ‘The PICTF has provided a structured, action-oriented platform for effective dialogue between government and the pharmaceutical industry. The involvement of Ministers from a number of Government Departments and senior industry executives (…) has been of great benefit. PICTF has strengthened industry-government relationships, significantly increased mutual understanding and delivered some valuable output.’

The PICTF final report contains a foreword by Prime Minister Tony Blair praising the industry and committing himself to ‘ensuring that the UK retains the features that have made it an attractive location for investment – features such as the availability of a high quality scientific workforce, protection of intellectual property, a supportive regulatory framework, and an environment conducive to the research needed to discover the cures of the 21st century.’ Blair continues: ‘A key feature in maintaining the UK’s attractiveness will be effective partnership at the highest levels between Government and industry. That is why I am delighted at the work and outputs of the Pharmaceutical Industry Competitiveness Task Force.’ Web site: www.doh.gov.uk/pictf

Department of Health
Pfizer was part of the ‘committee on medical aspects of food and nutrition policy 1999-2000’. However, the company more than likely has more links to the Department of Health and its various advisory committees. Department of Health: www.doh.gov.uk/index.html

The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG)
‘If you suggest to a business audience, or a group of public servants, that the world would be a better place if there were more personal contacts between business and government, there are nods all round the room. But when it comes to practical implementation, life becomes more difficult (…). This is where WIG comes in.’
Howart Davies, Chairman, Financial Services Authority and former Patron of WIG

The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) is an independent, not-for-profit, membership organisation working for better understanding between the public and private sectors through the exchange of people, ideas, information and best practice.

WIG’s membership includes 100+ companies, 35+ major government departments and agencies, and 20+ local authorities. Web site: www.wig.co.uk/main.html

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Europe:

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) is the representative voice of the pharmaceutical industry in Europe. Its members are European national pharmaceutical industry associations as well as companies (including Merial, Monsanto, Etats-Unis. Novartis AG, Suisse. Pfizer, Pharmacia & Upjohn) undertaking research, development and the manufacture in Europe of medicinal products for human use. The associated companies account for approximately 98% of the pharmaceutical industry’s production in the European Union.

EFPIA tries to create a favourable policy climate in Europe. It provides a link between the pharmaceutical industry and policy-makers at the European and international level, and maintaining close links with EU institutions (Parliament, Commission, Council, Economic & Social Committee), regulatory authorities (EMEA), health care professionals and patient and consumer associations. EFPIA claims to hold a secretariat of around 30 people in Brussels. Web site: www.efpia.org/default.htm

European Federation of Animal Health (FEDESA)
Founded in June 1987 and based in Brussels, FEDESA represents the manufacturers of animal health products in Europe. Its members consist of 15 National Associations, 16 leading Corporations (including Pfizer Animal Health) and 1 Affiliated Corporate Member. Web site: www.FEDESA.be

The EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham)
The EU Committee represents American business interests towards the institutions of the European Union. Its members include 140 of the largest US multinationals. These companies are major investors in Europe and have employees in almost every Member State of the European Union. AmCham supports European integration and aims to provide input into the development of EU policy by providing information about the business implications of EU initiatives. The EU Committee communicates its message through direct and regular dialogue with officials from the European institutions with whom the committee claims to have ‘a positive professional relationship.’

AmCham is one of the most important corporate players on the Brussels political scene, and the first to introduce the US style of corporate lobbying to Brussels. AmCham works closely with the two most influential ‘European’ corporate groupings, the employers’ confederation UNICE and the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT). They all emphasise the urgency of adjusting European societies to be more internationally competitive in the globalising economy. To avoid relocations and create jobs the EU should thrive for ‘flexible workforces’ and ‘further liberalisation and a competitive regulatory environment’. AmCham rarely passes up the opportunity to stress the threat of corporate relocation in its European lobbying on various issues of interest to its members [17]. Web site: www.eucommitte.be/fseu.htm

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Regional level:

 

Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD)
The TABD –consisting of the largest EU- and US-based multinational corporations- was established in 1995 as a joint initiative of the European Commission (led by Commission Vice-President for Trade Sir Leon Brittan and Commissioner for Industrial Affairs Martin Bangemann) and the US Department of Commerce. The press reported that the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) was also a driving force behind the initiative. The TABD can be described as a far-reaching alliance between the US, the EU and business. On both sides of the ocean, the TABD enjoys highly institutionalised access to the policymaking process. Its primary aim is the creation of one, integrated transatlantic market. In addition, the TABD safeguards and directs American-European leadership in international trade negotiations.

Active European corporations include Asea Brown Boveri, Bayer, Bertelsmann, Ericsson, ICI, Olivetti, Pirelli, Philips, Siemens, Solvay and Unilever. Some of the influential TABD companies on the other side of the ocean include Boeing, Enron, Federal Express, Ford, IBM, Motorola, Nokia, Procter&Gamble, Time Warner, Westinghouse, Xerox and Pfizer.

The more than one hundred corporate leaders involved in the TABD have a formal role, advising the EU and US administrations on their positions in World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC, see below) is the international business grouping with the closest links to the WTO secretariat. The pharma industry (with Pfizer having a leading role) aggressively lobbied within the WTO (either directly, or through business lobby groups like the TABD and ICC) for a strict, internationally harmonized system of patent law. The proposals the pharma industry carved out were almost completely being taken over by the US government and its allies. In other words, the industry’s ‘recommendations’ were used as a blueprint for the final design of the patent law by politicians and policymakers. Web site: www.tabd.com

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Global level:

 

The upswing of corporate political power on the national level and in regional fora like the European Union has been closely followed in the 1990s by an alarming emergence of synchronised corporate campaigning on the global level. The phenomenon is not entirely new: a number of international elite fora and think tanks have laid the groundwork for corporate global lobbying over the past several decades.

Structures like the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission and the World Economic Forum (WEF), although not exclusively industry-based, have been catalysts for the adoption of the prevailing agenda of economic globalisation by most governments around the world. In the last decade, these established fora have been supplemented by the emergence of new global players. In addition, the private sector has recently forged strong ties with various United Nations bodies. The launch of the Global Compact highlights this newly forged UN-business partnership [18].

Obviously Pfizer, as one of the world’s biggest multinationals, is heavily involved in lobbying at the global level. The drug giant is a member of major international lobby groups such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

‘Through partnerships, we can replace the destructive cycle of poverty and disease with a virtuous cycle of investment and health. […] Together, we can and must confront humanity’s killers.’
-Pfizer CEO Henry A. McKinnell at the 2001 World Economic Forum Davos, Switzerland [19].

Through these global business groups and elitist fora multinationals can exert tremendous influence within, for example, the World Trade Organization (WTO). They have far more possibilities (official as well as informal) to influence policymaking processes than non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The influence of less institutionalised groups from the so-called civil society can be considered nil in comparison with the influence of the private sector. Multinational corporations enjoy this big advantage (among many other advantages) of speaking ‘the same language’ as WTO policymakers and high-level politicians (because they share the same ideological background) therefore their voices are being heard relatively easily. In many cases, it is the same people who are running corporations and regulating them. The lack of transparency in institutions such as the WTO has been caused because the institutions were lobbied for by, and are now made up of business people.

Web sites:

World Economic Forum: www.weforum.org
Trilateral Commission: www.trilateral.org
Global Compact: www.unglobalcompact.org
International Chamber of Commerce: www.iccwbo.org
WBCSD: www.wbcsd.ch
World Trade Organization: www.wto.org

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Influencing research and education

 

In addition to Pfizer’s own numerous projects, research institutes and scientists, Pfizer is ‘involved in a wide variety of research collaborations and a large number of licensing agreements with universities, institutes, and organizations throughout the world.’[20] More information on these partnerships as well as on sponsoring can be found in the corporate crimes section below. It is self-evident that corporate involvement in research and education bears great risks as commercial and public interests get blurred.

In addition, Pfizer is among the drug giants who have recently been accused of distorting research for the sake of profits. On Monday 13 September 2001, thirteen of the world's leading medical journals mounted an outspoken attack on the rich and powerful drug companies, accusing them of distorting the results of scientific research for the sake of profits. The Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and other major journals accused the drug giants of using their money - or the threat of its removal - to tie up academic researchers with legal contracts so that they are unable to report freely and fairly on the results of drug trials [21].

Ideally, research is supposed to create knowledge that can be used to increase people’s wellbeing (e.g. to dissolve vital problems), or simply to increase our understanding of things. The purpose of education, at least ideally, is to encourage critical enquiry and to open minds to arguments for and against any particular conclusion, rather than close them to any conclusion but one. However, the profit motive is the main driving force behind corporate (funded) research. And corporations want education to suit the labour market. They increasingly tighten bonds with schools and universities (e.g. have their ads printed in schoolbooks) and try to interfere with and shape national curricula. (More subtle ways to get children to identify themselves with brands includes Nike’s latest attempt to campaign at schools against bullying! Or IBM’s partnership with Dutch universities to create a super-fast Internet network).

Pfizer is a research-based company. Knowledge is the core value-adding ingredient of Pfizer’s products. The company needs knowledge as input for the creation and design of its products. This knowledge falls into two categories. The first category contains of recondite medical knowledge about the substance/composition and processing of drugs. This recondite knowledge is heavily protected by patents and therefore makes drugs much more expensive than they actually are.

However, another type of knowledge is at least as important for drug giants like Pfizer; that is knowledge about consumer markets. How to get the message across, how to get people to identify themselves with the Pfizer brand, how to get people to buy Pfizer products? Those are important questions for the company. Pfizer spends billions of dollars in order to capture new customers, and link them to the Pfizer brand name and products (amongst other by way of influencing research and education). Marketing and advertising efforts increase the price of drugs to a great extent.

In summary, the practical implications are the following: If you buy Pfizer’s medicines, only a fraction of the money you pay is needed to cover the production costs (costs related to the ingredients and costs stemming from processing and labour). Another fraction is needed to cover costs related to R&D and to secure the Pfizer’s profits. However, most of your money is needed to cover costs related to marketing and advertisement (in other words, you pay for the brand name and what it takes to enlarge the brand name’s visibility and popularity).

Links with governments

 

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US:

 

Tax avoidance
Naturally, profitable American-based corporations like Pfizer are closely linked to the US government. The pharmaceutical industry is far and away the most profitable major industry in the country. This position provides pharmaceutical companies with many privileges, including tax rebates. A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found resurgence in corporate tax avoidance and reported that many of the country's biggest corporations once again paid little or nothing in federal income taxes [22].

In 1998, twenty-four corporations got tax rebates. These 24 companies -almost one out of ten of the companies in the study- reported US profits before taxes in 1998 of $12.0 billion (£8,18 billion), yet received tax rebates totalling $1.3 billion (£886,6 million). The list of big-name companies getting tax rebates in 1998 included, among others, Texaco, Chevron, CSX, Pepsico, Pfizer, J.P. Morgan, Goodyear, Enron, General Motors, Phillips Petroleum and Northrop Grumman [23].

Financing politics
The Guardian recently reported the enormous power -unchallenged by other industry groups- wielded by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), described as ‘a pressure group breathtaking for its deep pockets and aggression, even by the standards of US politics’.[24]

During the last elections, the pharmaceutical industry spent a lot of money backing the Republicans. ‘Until recently, the industry hedged its political bets, backing the Democrats and Republicans more or less evenly at election time. But at the last election, it gambled. With billions at stake in a heated debate over prescription drug prices at home and a growing number of patent disputes abroad, the drugmakers stacked their chips disproportionately behind George Bush. The industry spent nearly 70% of its unprecedented $24.4m (£16,64 million) campaign war chest on the Republicans.’

(The UK-based campaign organisation ECRA (EthicalConsumer.org) lists the top twenty corporate donors with global consumer brands to the Republican Party. Pfizer is #8 on the list, not far behind Federal Express, MCI Worldcom, Citigroup, Enron, News Corp, Amway and BP. Philip Morris spans the crown) www.boycottbush.net

60% of the drugmakers’ $24.4m (£16,64 million) contributions were in the form of ‘soft money’ – legal unregulated cash paid to the parties’ national committees for supposedly general use. These cash flows are harder to track down than the flows of ‘hard money’ – federally regulated donations for use in a specific election campaign. One of the biggest players in the soft money game is a group with the public-spirited title of Citizens for Better Medicare. For an organisation which commissioned an estimated $35m (£23,8 million) in advertising in the last election, Citizens for Better Medicare maintains a remarkably small office in downtown Washington.

‘We are a broad-based coalition of patients, doctors and the industry, which stands for a system based on competition, consumer empowerment and senior's choice,’ said Tim Ryan, its executive director. In terms of funding, however, he concedes the base is considerably narrower. ‘We may have some contributions from individuals, but yes, we are largely funded by the industry. We haven't talked about figures, so I can't tell you the percentage.’

The percentage is close to 100. Citizens for Better Medicare (CBM) was founded and is funded by PhRMA and the drug industry. When it registered itself for non-profit status, CBM declared itself as a PhRMA affiliate. Before taking up his executive director position, Mr Ryan was PhRMA's marketing director. CBM does not need a big staff or extensive premises because 98% of the money coming in from the industry is funnelled straight out to a single advertising producer, Alex Castellanos. Mr Castellanos's other main clients last year were the George Bush election campaign and the Republican National Committee.

PhRMA’s donations to the Republicans paid off. Grateful Republicans are now running the White House and the Pharmaceutical industry will certainly be reaping the benefits in the near future. At the time of writing, the first victory for the industry seems to be materialising with George W. Bush limiting patients’ rights to sue corporations in case of damage. Politicians supported by PhRMA are now in key positions and PhRMA deploys 297 lobbyists – one for every two members of Congress.

‘The PhRMA doesn’t need to lobby,’ said Democratic congressman Sherrod Brown. ‘The industry is in the White House already.’[25]

Close ties to regulatory authorities
Arianna Huffington writes about the collusion between the pharmaceutical industry, the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and the Congressional Oversight Committee. ‘In a series of investigative reports that just earned him a Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times' David Willman exposed the risks taken with the public's health by drug companies in their frenetic drive for ever-higher profits. He uncovered documents that reveal how Warner-Lambert (now part of Pfizer), which produced the now-banned diabetes drug Rezulin, wilfully ignored evidence of the drug's life-threatening liver toxicity, and even managed to get senior Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials to disregard the warnings of their own medical experts.’

FDA’s mission:
‘Stated most simply FDA's mission is to promote and protect the public health by helping safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way, and monitoring products for continued safety after they are in use. Our work is a blending of law and science aimed at protecting consumers’.[26]

The alleged role of Congressional Oversight Committees:
‘In addition to passing laws and creating programs, a critical function of Congress is keeping a watchful eye on those executive branch agencies responsible for laws and programs and making sure that the people’s will is being carried out and that the taxpayers’ money is being used as efficiently and appropriately as possible.'[27]

Huffington further criticises the lack of real government oversight compounded by the industry’s aggressive marketing tactics – ‘which make it seem like these powerful drugs are just like any other consumer product’. She gives a few examples to illustrate the lax FDA attitude towards the industry: ‘Glaxo Wellcome was reprimanded a remarkable 14 times for misleading consumers about its asthma drugs Flovent and Flonase. You'd think they'd have gotten the message after rebuke No. 4., or 9., or 12. And the FDA recently wagged its finger at Pfizer and Pharmacia (for the third time in 14 months) for running deceptive TV spots touting Celebrex, their jointly marketed arthritis drug.’

Huffington wanted to explore this less-than-stellar track record further and made a phone-call to Pfizer. She writes ‘I was transferred to the company's Department of Corporate Reputation. I kid you not, that's what it's called. When I asked about obtaining a copy of some of its ads, I was told this wouldn't be possible because of my "tight deadline." I guess 36 hours wasn't enough time for anyone to fax me the script of a 30-second ad that seems to air every 60 seconds. I understand -- I'd also be embarrassed if my ads overstated product effectiveness or contained the hyperdefensive tag line "We have fathers, sisters and best friends, too." Some of those best friends are apparently employed at the FDA. And why not -- it's easy to bond with government officials who are ignoring warnings from their own medical specialists and issuing toothless scoldings to the industry.’[28]

AIDs
George Bush’s victory is good news for the industry, but bad news for the fight against Aids. It’s likely that Bush will reverse the minimalist concessions made by Clinton to poorer countries slightly enlarging their access to medicines. Los Angeles Times reports that ‘Bush (in his function as Texas governor) has failed in the fight against HIV/Aids. Texas has the fourth-highest number of Aids cases in the US and Bush has never publicly said the word Aids after five years in office…the entire Aids organizational infrastructure is war weary and alarmed that Bush has not addressed Aids publicly as a social, policy or health issue in his 60 months as governor.’[29] The pharma industry has seemingly found a good partner in Bush in their efforts to keep poorer countries from producing or importing relatively cheap, generic medicines.

(Mis)using public funds
The US government has shown many times how it backs up its pharmaceutical industry at the cost of ordinary people the world over, including its own citizens. In September 1999 the US government decided to grant US pharmaceutical corporations the patent rights over drugs invented with public funds –six HIV/Aids drugs, as well as anti-malarial treatments and other medicines of vital interest to developing countries. The government had the right to use the drugs in public health initiatives, but chose to protect the commercial interests of its industry instead.

Amusement Park
Another example of denial of public interests and misuse of public money involves the funding of the Pfizer Business Park by a consortium of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and governmental agencies. The Business Park, named Pfizer World, will be build soon and cost 12 billion dollars (£8,184 billion)! The Park will serve as a vehicle to introduce and promote new drugs to the public. Attorney general John Ashcroft and vice-president Dick Cheney were among the notables present when Pfizer announced the building of the business park. Despite the visible presence of the Bush administration, government officials and politicians were surprisingly tight-lipped. "My only comment on the issue is that both the president and I support any endeavor to teach young people about capitalism…wait…I mean about health", Cheney remarked as he was hurried into the president helicopter. The myth of governments making decisions in the public interest is once again discredited [30].

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UK:

 

In the United Kingdom the pharmaceutical industry can count on the government's support as well. In a foreword to the PICTF (= a high level partnership between the UK government and its pharma industry) final report PM Blair praises the industry: ‘A successful pharmaceutical industry is a prime example of what is needed in a successful knowledge economy. The UK’s pharmaceutical industry has an outstanding tradition and has contributed very substantially to our economy and to the welfare of our citizens. It has provided tens of thousands of high quality jobs, substantial investment in research and development, and a massive contribution to the UK’s balance of trade. UK patients and people around the world have benefited from the early introduction of new and improved medicines that would not have been discovered without work undertaken in UK laboratories.’

Blair commits himself to the containment and progression of the friendly business environment in the UK. The UK has to ‘retain the features that have made it an attractive location for investment – features such as the availability of a high quality scientific workforce, protection of intellectual property, a supportive regulatory framework, and an environment conducive to the research needed to discover the cures of the 21st century’. Blair concludes: ‘A key feature in maintaining the UK’s attractiveness will be effective partnership at the highest levels between Government and industry.’[31]

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PR Companies

 

Pfizer’s Media Relations Manager (based in Kent, UK):

Beth Coldwell

Tel: 01304 645330

Fax: 01304 641202

Mobile: 07887 821 354

The following companies (all based in London) have Pfizer as a client:

Avenue (Healthcare Knowledge Management)

Nexus Choat Public Relations

Regester Larkin Ltd

Pfizer has had links to Burson Marsteller (the PR-Giant dealing with ‘reputation management’ for other Big Corporations, but having major imago problems itself because of its dubious working practices).[32]

Pfizer hired Alex Castellanos, a single advertising producer. In 2000, Mr Castellanos other clients were the Bush election campaign and the Republican National Committee. Web site: www.abpi.org.uk

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References
[13] Financial Times, 27/04/01

[14] www.brtable.org/about.cfm/introduction (source: BRT, date viewed: 02/10/01)

[15] Belen Balanya, et al. (2000), ‘Europe Inc., Regional & Global Restructuring and the Rise of Corporate Power, luto Press, London, pg. 45

[16] www.prwatch.org (Vol 5, No 4, 1998)

[17] Belen Balanya, et al. (2000), ‘Europe Inc., Regional & Global Restructuring and the Rise of Corporate Power, Pluto Press, London, pg. 45-46

[18] Ibidem, pg. 143

[19] ‘Partnerships offer hope in Sub-Saharan Partnerships’, remarks McKinnell at World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland. Can be found at: www.pfizer.com/pfizerinc/investing/annual/2000/pfizer2000ar73.html (source: Pfizer, date viewed: 04/10/01)

[20] www.pfizer.com/pfizerinc/about/focus/research.htm (source: Pfizer, date viewed: 9/9/01). And also: www.pfizer.com/pfizerinc/about/message/messagefrm.html (‘Greetings from Pfizer CEO McKinnell’) McKinnell explains that R&D is the lifeblood of the industry. He gets into Pfizer’s achievements/practices with regard to R&D. He praises Pfizer and its noble intentions.

[21] ‘Drug firms accused of distorting research,’ by the Guardian, 10 September 2001 (www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4253301,00.html, source: the Guardian, date viewed: 04/10/01)

[22] Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 1311 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, October 19, 2000

[23] Ibidem

[24] Guardian, 13/02/2001, ‘Industry Stalks the US Corridors of Power, how drug firms reach the heart of government’ (www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0213-02.htm, date viewed: 26/07/2001)

[25] Ibidem

[26] www.fda.gov/opacom/hpview.html (source: FDA, date viewed: 04/10/01)

[27] Introductory remarks made at the start of a session on the effectiveness of congressional oversight

[28] ‘The drug companies’ racket’ by Arianna Huffington (20/04/2001), article can be viewed at:

www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/04/20/aids/ (source: salon.dom, date viewed: 04/10/01)

See also: ‘Drug Companies: Sell Hard, Sell Fast ... And Count The Bodies Later’, filed April 19, 2001, by Arianna Huffington (www.overthrowthegov.com/new/2001/news_arianna_041901.htm)

[29] Los Angeles Times, 12/06/1999

[30] New York Times, 23/04/01

[31] www.doh.gov.uk/pictf/ (source: UK government, department of health, date viewed: 03/04/10)

[32] www.prwatch.org (source: PR watch, date viewed: 02/09/01). See also: www.corporatewatch.org.uk/magazine/issue2/cw2f2.html (‘What’s wrong with Burson-Marsteller?, by Corporate Watch)

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