Cyrus Dugger

Pfizer Proves That Tort “Reform” Was a Fraud

From Trusty Getto Blog:

"I see Michigan’s relationship with Pfizer as a unique opportunity to put Michigan at the front of the pack in the field of life sciences and bio-technology. A competitive environment is critical to this effort, and we cannot mistake the importance our tort reform efforts will have in our ability to attract these companies in the future."

- Republican Craig DeRoche, former Speaker of the Michigan House

Well over a decade ago, "tort reform" was touted as a way to make Michigan more competitive in the business world. So were tax cuts . . . . but I digress. One of these tort reform laws that were enacted by a Republican House and Senate, and then signed into law by Republican Governor John Engler (who bolted from Michigan once his term was over, but I digress again), provided absolute immunity against lawsuits for drug companies whose drugs were approved by the FDA. This immunity, so our politicians said, was a good way to ensure profitability for drug companies and attract them to Michigan, thereby making our economy stronger.

More than a decade later, what do we have to show for it? Nothing. Pfizer announced today that it would be closing multiple facilities (at least one large one in Ann Arbor) and laying off thousands. The reason? Yep you guessed it -- lawsuits had nothing to do with it. The reason they are closing down and leaving is because their patents are running out on some of their key drugs, which means they will actually have to compete with generic makers from now on. When they have to actually compete in the marketplace, they can't make enough money. So, they're closing down.

Let me get this straight . . . . Even though we are the only state in the union to provide a shield to drug companies, Pfizer can't make it here. All that money they saved by not having to compensate people for the injuries their drugs caused (like for example, recalled drug Bextra), went into the pockets of shareholders. It was not used for research and development. It was not used to keep the company here.

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Posted at 9:00 AM, Jan 31, 2007 in
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