The Drug Company Cartel Mafia Monopoly
There are so many scandals being covered up by corporate thugs, their friends in government, the judiciary, the police, and the financial barons who conspire to keep the money turnstile turning. The truth is so twisted and seemingly unbelievable, even faced with telephone book size files of proof, little to nothing is done for decades. The truth be told about the Connecticut Lyme Disease scandal, Baxter, Glaxo Smith Kline, and so many in the Big Pharma industry would be exposed for criminal and civil prosecution.
Read in between the lines:
$75 MILLION OFFER
Connecticut Attorney Fights Pfizer Inc.'s Effort To Settle Nigerian Lawsuit
By MATTHEW KAUFFMAN | The Hartford Courant [link]
May 21, 2009
Pfizer Inc. is prepared to pay tens of millions of dollars to Nigerians who were killed or injured when the pharmaceutical giant tested an experimental antibiotic on scores of children during a meningitis outbreak in the African country.
So why is a Connecticut attorney working so hard to scuttle the settlement?
It's the latest twist in a long-twisted court battle that has skipped across an ocean and back again, and drawn on everything from Colonial-era piracy laws to the Nuremberg trials and a John le Carré murder mystery.
West Haven lawyer Richard Altschuler has been suing Pfizer for most of the past decade, but he wasn't cheering when he first got word of a $75 million offer to resolve a case in the Nigerian courts. Instead, he's gone to court in Connecticut to block the settlement, charging that the drug company and lawyers for the Nigerian government are conspiring to shortchange his clients — and slam the door on his U.S. suit.
The wrinkle: Altschuler is not involved in the Nigerian negotiations and, technically, neither are the Nigerian families he represents. But if the Nigerian settlement establishes a pool of compensation money, Altschuler fears that his clients will be pressured to abandon his U.S. lawsuit in exchange for a share of the settlement pie.
"Even with the $75 million, it's certainly nowhere near enough," Altschuler said. "When you divide it up, it's totally ludicrous and unfair. And also: these are our clients."
Altschuler and a New York firm filed lawsuits against Pfizer in 2001 and 2002 on behalf of more than 100 participants in the 1996 drug test.
But they're not the only ones who sued.
Two years ago, state and federal governments in Nigeria brought civil and criminal charges against the drug company in Nigerian courts, demanding as much as $9 billion and raising the prospect of jail time for Pfizer officials.
Pfizer spokesman Chris Loder said that negotiations are continuing, but in recent weeks Pfizer was reportedly close to a settlement that would give $30 million to the governments and $10 million to the Nigerian lawyers, while setting aside $35 million for those harmed during the drug trial. Altschuler says that the victims would do far better in the U.S. courts and that Pfizer has no business involving his clients without his participation.
But Pfizer says it is Altschuler's attempt to block the deal that is out of bounds.
"The U.S. lawyers' complaints about interference with their cases are unfounded," Pfizer said this week in a statement released by Loder. "Instead, their own actions constitute interference with Pfizer's negotiations in Nigeria, where these lawyers are not involved."
And what of the accusation that Pfizer intends to use the settlement to persuade Altschuler's clients to withdraw their U.S. lawsuit? To that, Loder will say only: "We're not going to comment on our legal strategy."
Altschuler said that the Nigerian settlement would give too much money to the governments and the Nigerian lawyers, and too little to the victims. And he unabashedly says he thinks that he's being cheated, too, with the possibility that he'll end up with nothing for his years of court battles.
"The bottom line is: The way you get lawyers to bring cases like this, class actions, is that they gotta be paid," he said.
In the U.S. courts, Altschuler has relied on novel legal theories, alleging that Pfizer — which developed the protocol for the Nigerian drug trial at its Groton research plant — violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. And he argues that the suit belongs in the United States under the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 law that allows foreigners to sue in U.S. courts for violations of customary international laws.
The statute was originally written to address piracy on the high seas and the occasional aggrieved foreign ambassador. But relying in part on the Nuremberg Code — a set of universal research principles developed in response to Nazi experiments — Altschuler said that the law also applies to what he says was a medical study conducted on children without proper consent. During a 1996 meningitis outbreak in northern Nigeria, Pfizer treated 100 infected children with an experimental antibiotic known as Trovan, and gave another 100 children an approved antibiotic,but allegedly at one-third the recommended dose. Altschuler alleges that 11 children died and that others suffered permanent injuries and deformities.
Pfizer has since withdrawn Trovan from the marketplace. But company officials have said that the deaths and injuries in Nigeria were caused by the children's underlying illnesses, not by Trovan or the drug test, which they say was prompted by humanitarian concerns and conducted appropriately.
Nevertheless, the case is frequently compared to the novel and movie "The Constant Gardener," which revolves around an unethical and deadly drug trial in Kenya. Altschuler charges that Pfizer failed to obtain informed consent from the children's parents, failed to tell them that a tested antibiotic was also available and kept children on Trovan even after evidence of dangerous side effects emerged. He also claims that Pfizer backdated a key approval letter from an institutional ethics committee in Nigeria — a committee that did not exist at the time the letter was allegedly written.
If the Nigerian settlement is signed, Altschuler says he still intends to fight.
"I can't figure out how they think they're going to pull this off," Altschuler said. "It would be incredible to think that we're going to accept a letter saying, 'Thank you. Withdraw the suits.'"
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The US Immunization Scam in a nutshell:
The Lyme Disease testing and treatment scam exposed by the patent numbers:
Kathleen Dickson links:
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The HIV AIDS testing and tainting of 3rd World Country Blood Supplies International Scandal: