Pfizer Fights to Keep CEO Off the Witness Stand


Pfizer Inc. has appealed a judge’s order that CEO Ian Read and two other executives testify in person at the first of over 2,500 pending cases over Pfizer’s failure to warn that the anti-smoking drug Chantix was known to increase the risk of suicide. The company contends that the court is not empowered to serve subpoenas more than 100 miles from the courthouse. Lawyers for the plaintiff contend that Read “is a crucial witness in the Chantix story, and any inconvenience is outweighed by the benefit of allowing the jury to evaluate his testimony in person.”

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Of further interest:
Pfizer aims to keep CEO off the stand in Chantix trial (Fierce Pharma)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. So, a man is dead, there are more than 2500 cases pending, and the CEO can’t find the time to appear in court. Pfizer believes they did what they were supposed to do by providing information in the micrographic package insert. Then they maintain that the there is no reliable, scientific evidence that the product causes the neuropsychiatric issues. Anyone else see a problem when public statements by pharmacy companies that contradict agency mandated disclosures? We don’t allow tobacco companies to do this.

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