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Explosive Revelations: Big Pharma Whistleblower Exposes Industry's Darkest Secrets, Igniting a Firestorm of Controversy
Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a top story. However, what is making waves is a whistleblower named Brook Jackson. She claims that in September 2020, when she was hired to oversee the testing of a COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer, criminal fraud occurred, allowing the vaccine to be FDA-approved.
The questions which have been asked the most since these allegations became public are:
What criminal fraud was committed?
Is there anything mentioned in the lawsuit that could be deemed criminal fraud?
Are there holes in Ms. Jackson's claims?
While there are issues with mishandling biohazard materials during the testing process, is that enough to constitute a data integrity breach?
You might find the issues brought up by Professor Dorit Rubenstein Reiss of the University of California Hastings College of Law quite interesting. Do you think that Reiss has created massive holes in the claims stated by Ms. Jackson? As far as we can tell, Jackson or her legal team has not addressed these holes. You can read them here.
However, it should be noted that just because Jackson or her legal team has not addressed the holes does not mean they are legit.
Others have wondered why Ms. Jackson went to BMJ.com to break the story, a UK company instead of one in the US. Was no media outlet willing to break the story because they felt it lacked objective evidence?
How much does it pay to sue Big Pharma? A lot. If the government intervenes, the relator (the official designation of the whistleblower) can expect 15-25% of the amount the government recovers. The highest recorded payout to a whistleblower is $32 million. And if the government agrees with Jackson, her payout could be substantially more.
The Key Players
Pfizer Inc. - is the manufacturer of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the vaccine as safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 for individuals 12 or older. The vaccine is currently marketed under the name Comirnaty. The FDA ruled no problem with the data submitted, and no criminal fraud was committed.
Ventavia Research Group (VRG) - The independent lab tested the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. According to their website, they have eight locations in Texas: Houston, Fort Worth, Plano, Arlington, Keller, Burleson, Weatherford, and Grapevine. They have just under 100 employees and have performed clinical trial research since 2013.
The FDA has not taken any action against Ventavia and fully accepted the data from the vaccine testing performed at Ventavia facilities. Wouldn't it make sense if there was an actual problem that the FDA would have taken action? But they didn't.
Brook Jackson - Known as The COVID-19 Pfizer Whistleblower who reported her findings to the FDA on September 25, 2020. Jackson states she has audio recordings and copies of company documents backing up her claims about how VRG conducted the vaccine trial.
One photo allegedly shows needles used in the vaccine trial had been discarded in a plastic biohazard bag instead of the approved sharps container box. It is unclear if the used needles were poking through the plastic bag creating a potential injury to anyone handling the bag or near it. Another photo shows the potential of unblinding the participants as the completed vaccine packing materials contained the trial participants' identification numbers, which were out in the open instead of in a secured location.
Does this sound like criminal fraud to you? Does it paint a picture of a lack of training? Yes. How about that when overworked employees often make mistakes they wouldn't under normal circumstances? That would be probable.
Paul Thacker - the reporter responsible for breaking the story, is described as an American journalist who has reported on science, medicine, and the environment. He has just 16k followers on Twitter. Does that seem like a lot to you? And according to Science.org, fake news is shared 70% more often on Twitter than real news.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - the government entity in charge of ensuring the food sold to the public and the drugs created to better our health are made in the best manner possible, and they do what they should do. The FDA took zero action against Pfizer or Ventavia Research Group (VRG).
Image source: maryannedemasi.com
Jackson claims she had repeatedly informed her superiors at Ventavia Research Group of problems due to substandard laboratory management, ongoing patient safety concerns (the trial participants), and key data integrity issues in Pfizer's vaccine trial. She also brought to their attention the VRG's poor record-keeping, the unblinding of trial volunteers and staff, and the hiring of unqualified personnel. Most seriously, she noted the “improperly diluting” of the vaccine and the failure to keep the vaccines at the recommended temperature.
What are your thoughts on Brook Jackson, her story, and if the "Coronavirus Testing Whistleblower" has the evidence she claims she does?
Simply put, the Federal False Claims Act is the #1 way the United States Federal Government fights fraud. It is powerful as it allows whistleblowers to the people involved in the fraud.
A whistleblower lawsuit, also known as a qui tam lawsuit, typically involves an individual (the whistleblower) exposing fraud, corruption, or illegal activities within an organization. These lawsuits often arise under the U.S. False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to bring legal actions on behalf of the government to recover money lost due to fraudulent activities. Here are some examples of whistleblower lawsuits:
United States ex rel. Frank Colaprico v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (2008): A whistleblower lawsuit alleging that Lockheed Martin, a defense contractor, overcharged the U.S. government for tools and labor on military aircraft contracts. The company settled the case for $15.85 million.
United States ex rel. James Holzrichter v. Northrop Grumman Corp. (2005): Northrop Grumman, another defense contractor, was accused of overcharging the government for military equipment and services. The case was settled for $134 million.
United States ex rel. Cheryl D. Eckard v. GlaxoSmithKline (2010): A former quality assurance manager at GlaxoSmithKline, Cheryl D. Eckard, filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the pharmaceutical company engaged in manufacturing and quality control violations. The case was settled for $750 million.
United States ex rel. Daniel D. Richardson v. Pfizer Inc. (2009): Pfizer, a pharmaceutical giant, settled a whistleblower lawsuit for $2.3 billion, which included allegations of off-label marketing and kickbacks to healthcare providers.
United States ex rel. Shuping v. Fresenius Medical Care (2016): A case where whistleblowers alleged that Fresenius Medical Care, a provider of dialysis services, violated the False Claims Act by billing the government for unnecessary medical tests and inflating the cost of certain drugs. The case was settled for $250 million.
These examples highlight the various industries and types of fraud that can be exposed through whistleblower lawsuits, which ultimately help to protect taxpayer dollars and promote transparency within organizations.
Essentially, it allows the person responsible for informing the government of the wrongdoing (the whistleblower) to receive a portion of the money recovered from the guilty party.
John Kopchinski is a former sales representative for Pfizer Inc., a prominent pharmaceutical company. He gained significance in whistleblowing when he exposed the company's illegal marketing practices in 2009.
As a West Point grad, Kopchinski was hired by Pfizer Inc. in 1992 as a sales rep after he left the Army.
Kopchinski was one of the key whistleblowers in a case against Pfizer, which resulted in the company pleading guilty to criminal charges and paying a record-breaking $2.3 billion in fines.
Kopchinski's whistleblowing was pivotal in uncovering Pfizer's off-label promotion of Bextra, an anti-inflammatory drug, for uses and dosages not approved by the FDA. His courageous actions shed light on the unethical practices within the pharmaceutical industry and demonstrated the importance of whistleblowing in holding corporations accountable for their actions.
Whistleblowers face immense challenges when exposing fraud within large corporations due to several factors:
Power and resources: Large corporations often possess significant financial and legal resources, enabling them to mount strong defenses and counterattacks against whistleblowers. These companies can hire top legal teams and use their influence to discredit or undermine the allegations.
Fear of retaliation: Whistleblowers often face the risk of retaliation from their employers, including termination, demotion, harassment, or even blacklisting within the industry. This fear can make individuals hesitant to come forward, even when they witness wrongdoing.
Legal complexities: Whistleblowing cases can involve intricate legal issues and extensive documentation, making it challenging for individuals to navigate the process without expert assistance. The complexity of such cases can deter potential whistleblowers from pursuing their claims.
Loss of confidentiality: Whistleblowers may worry about losing their anonymity, which could lead to personal and professional consequences, such as damage to their reputation, strained relationships, and potential difficulties finding future employment.
Financial burden: Legal battles against large corporations can be lengthy and expensive, placing a significant financial burden on whistleblowers. Many individuals may not have the resources to pursue their claims, especially if they have lost their job or faced economic instability.
Emotional and psychological toll: Whistleblowing can be emotionally draining, as individuals may feel isolated, unsupported, and under immense pressure. The stress of taking on a powerful corporation and enduring the legal process can have lasting psychological effects.
Despite these obstacles, whistleblowers are crucial in holding large corporations accountable for their actions, ensuring transparency, and fostering a more ethical business environment.