Nothing is too shocking with the Big Pharma industry but exposing it is helpful. Who is Washington finds this offensive? Hmmm, probably those politicians who receive campaign contributions from Big Pharma. In other words, quite a few of them because they all prefer the comfortable relationship of letting that industry pilfer Americans with high costs (even compared to other countries) while the extra earnings conveniently help fuel US campaigns. This happy marriage must be protected at all costs.
But the cable suggests that the US drug giant did not want to pay out to settle the two cases – one civil and one criminal – brought by the Nigerian federal government.
The cable reports a meeting between Pfizer’s country manager, Enrico Liggeri, and US officials at the Abuja embassy on 9 April 2009. It states: “According to Liggeri, Pfizer had hired investigators to uncover corruption links to federal attorney general Michael Aondoakaa to expose him and put pressure on him to drop the federal cases. He said Pfizer’s investigators were passing this information to local media.”
The cable, classified confidential by economic counsellor Robert Tansey, continues: “A series of damaging articles detailing Aondoakaa’s ‘alleged’ corruption ties were published in February and March. Liggeri contended that Pfizer had much more damaging information on Aondoakaa and that Aondoakaa’s cronies were pressuring him to drop the suit for fear of further negative articles.”