Systemic rot in Pfizer has got too deep for the authorities to turn a blind eye to any more. Pfizer has paid censured experts to educate doctors, has illegal ghost-writing practices; been warned about significant violations in paediatric trials of Geodon, was found guilty of pushing Neurontin for illegal purposes: tried to force NEMJ to hand over peer review comments... , their litany of dishonesty and corruption, just goes on, and on and on. To me the one incident that really says it all about the system is what the FDA organized when Pfizer was caught illegally marketting Bextra.
Normally, being guilty of such a crime would have excluded Pfizer from the huge Government funded health system Medicare. So FDA and Pfizer cut a deal. Pfizer created a dummy company which doesn't exist called Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. Inc, which has never sold a pill in it's life, and whose only function in life is to plead guilty to crimes another part of Pfizer commits. The rest of Pfizer is then free to continue as normal.
Drug regulators and companies exist as a symbiotic relationship. "Business as usual" goes something like: "You pretend to follow the rules and we'll pretend to chase you. But if you break too many rules, and people start to get suspicious, we'll have to beat you up a bit. That will at least make us look like WE'RE doing OUR job!"
Particularly when a company life Pfizer, in spite of it's known crimes, still represents about "half" of the drug industry in terms of scope and size. As CNN said, Pfizer is really just too big to nail.
The bottom line is simple. Anyone who without question, or investigation, trusts anyone, or anything associated with big pharma, Ministry of Health, or their doctor, has just become a potentially marked target. Like a deer in the cross hairs of a hunter's gun sights.