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WikiLeaks cable shows surprising new lows in big pharma behavior

If you thought the depths of pharma corruption bottomed out at marketing fraud, pricing fraud or scientific fraud, you’ll be interested in this stunning revelation: Pfizer hired investigators to dig up dirt on Nigeria’s then-attorney general in an effort to pressure him to drop a $6 billion lawsuit against the company for experimenting on Nigerian children, according to secret U.S. diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks recently made public.

The lawsuit that Pfizer sought to have dropped stems from an experiment conducted on 200 children in a Nigerian epidemic hospital without the consent of the parents or guardians. Eleven children died during the experimental trail of an antibiotic drug called Triovan. It was later revealed that a key ethics approval document had been fabricated and backdated, allowing the illicit and allegedly lethal experiment to occur.

The lawsuit was settled in July 2009 for $75 million. Pfizer has insisted in a written statement last week that the confidential settlement with the Nigerian federal government was reached “in good faith” and that the government’s “conduct in reaching that agreement was proper.”

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