Warm and fuzzy drugs

PR Watch’s Bob Burton debunks the “generosity” of drug companies in the wake of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami:

“In a series of announcements in the aftermath of the tsunami that swept that swept through East Asia and parts of Africa on December 26 2004, Pfizer committed itself to contribute a total of $20 million in cash and $60 million worth of medicines. Pfizer’s staff chipped in a further $2million.

“On its U.S. website Pfizer listed its tsunami response as an example of its commitment to corporate social responsibility. However, at a recent drug industry marketing conference in Sydney the Manager of Government Affairs for Pfizer Australia, David Miles, said that the company would have been better off being less generous. ‘We would be better off giving five million and shutting up,’ Miles said only a little jokingly. ‘As soon as you get into big numbers people think you can double or triple it.'”

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