Discouraging news was announced about the unlawful practices of Pfizer in marketing its drugs to physician’s using free golf, massages, and resort junkets, along with promoting off-label uses for several of their drugs (read complete story). The Justice Department said that Pfizer’s sales people created sham requests from physicians asking about unapproved drug uses and then the company mailed the information to doctors. This $2.3 billion settlement is the largest ever paid by a drug company.
Government attorneys noted that this is actually the fourth settlement over illegal marketing with Pfizer or one of its subsidiaries since 2002. Associated Press reports that the Massachusetts U.S. attorney said while Pfizer was negotiating deals on past misconduct, they were continuing to violate the very same laws with other drugs.
The TakeAway Tidbit
Every Industry is in Need of Value-Based Leadership!
This is true for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry since they seek to cure, treat and diagnose some of the world’s most devastating illnesses that still plague the world. Trust and credibility are the intangibles of a biotech entrepreneur, yet these are the currencies upon which a successful business is built, grown and sustained (See Nature Biotechnology Article, “Credibility: Your Most Important Asset“). All choices and decisions emanate from an individual’s core values. When the goal of generating profits is sought irrespective of the method, then symptoms such as seen with Pfizer’s marketing practices will surface throughout an organization. Holding to core values during challenging financial times provides a compass rather than a map and gives a company the direction it needs in the midst of the storm. Possessing enduring core values can steer one clear of many potential pitfalls in business and in life. Be sure to hold on to, and ascribe to, those core values that are supportive of successful business practices. Your company will then be built upon a strong and enduring foundation from which to grow and it will provide you and your organization the best chance for success. For those interested in more about this topic, two good books to read are Jim Collin’s book, Good to Great, and Hal Urban’s book, Life’s Greatest Lessons: 20 Things that Matter.
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