In most cases, it will be a legal defense that will cover your legal costs, but it is a legal defense that also protects your right to privacy. Drug defenses can help in the most extreme cases, but even if you are not drug-impaired, the right kind of defense can give you a legal way out if you are.
This right to privacy was recently upheld in the Supreme Court, and a group of pharmaceutical companies filed suit to prevent their customers from being prosecuted under federal drug laws. The case, Prescription Drug Monitor v. Abbott Labs, was filed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and five of the largest drug manufacturers in the United States, including Pfizer, Merck & Co., Daimler-Benz, and Johnson & Johnson.
The FDA has made the right to privacy a central issue. The FDA could say, “The right to privacy is fundamental to the FDA’s mission.” The FDA must also declare, “The right to privacy is not a right that we should impose on you.” This is the most important issue, but the FDA has made a strong case against drug manufacturer Pfizer. The FDA will have to make a decision, though, because Pfizer has a good shot at obtaining a good chance.
Pfizer has been found guilty of violating four FDA provisions. They’ve been fined $6,700,000 for violating the Right to Know provision. They’ve been found guilty of violating the Right to Privacy Act. They’ve been found guilty of violating the Right to the Integrity of Clinical Trial. And they’ve been found guilty of violating the Right to the Highest Quality of Experience.
Pfizer, with $65 billion in sales, has one of the largest drug portfolios in the world. Its stock traded at $38.70 this morning, making it the 5th largest stock on this market. Pfizer has its own drug, Zoloft. People who are taking Zoloft get the placebo, while those who are not are taking Zoloft.
This is one of the reasons Pfizer is a strong candidate for FTC intervention. Pfizer itself is a drug company and should be held to the same standards as, say, Nike or Samsung. In fact, Pfizer recently paid a $5 million settlement to an undisclosed number of people who thought they were suffering from kidney stones but actually weren’t.
Pfizer has a history of taking advantage of consumers who are looking to save money by getting a cheap prescription drug. Back in March of last year Pfizer made headlines when it revealed that a 3 million dollar settlement it had agreed to pay to a former patient had been used to pay for the drugs she needed. Pfizer says it was only doing what it was told to do by the lawyer it hired for the settlement.
Pfizer is trying to explain away the drug settlement for a few reasons. First, that it came with a confidentiality clause, which Pfizer says it does not have. Second, that it should have known that its settlement agreement was contingent on the patient having the necessary health insurance and also that this settlement did not include a “damages” clause in it which Pfizer says it does have.
This is a bit of a problem for Pfizer. The lawsuit filed in a federal court in Phoenix by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency claims that Pfizer was aware of the fact that some of the drug that the two agencies were testing was being used to treat pain. Pfizer says that it didn’t know that because it was told to by the lawyer it hired.
Pfizer has a reputation for putting forth a very strong defense when suing drug companies. Its lawsuits are filed quickly and often involve the testimony of an expert witness who often seems to be a drug company lawyer’s idea of a good expert witness. They are also highly skilled at presenting their own version of the facts to jurors.