Tagged: drugs


Outside their headquarters in New York City, a Pfizer spokesperson gave a shocking announcement on April 1, 2016. “Pfizer will be cutting the price of over 100 medicines.” Cheers rang out from the nearly 100 activists gathered in expectation of this development, including members of ACT UP NY, VOCAL NY, Housing Works, Health GAP, an affinity group Nobody’s Fool, and others. Sadly, this was just part of an elaborate hoax intended to call out the greed and murderous indifference of the pharmaceutical industry, and illustrate just how easily they could do the right thing.

Just as the April Fool’s hoax was revealed, another crowd carrying a 20-foot-tall puppet rounded the corner of 42nd Street. The puppet was the work of renowned artist and puppeteer Basil Twist. The “representative” ceded the floor to testimonies from patients and a reading of the group’s demands: stop price gouging, drop the price of the pneumonia vaccine to $5 per child, and end the attempted tax inversion merger with Allergan (just five days later, the Obama administration rightly blocked this merger).

About 24 hours prior, the Internet was taken by storm in a frenzy of confusion as two web pages went live mimicking real Pfizer and PhRMA sites. Press releases referenced a three-page report, “A Sustainable Pricing Plan for the 21st Century,” which was posted and sent to over 3000 journalists in the US and Europe. (See pages 1, 2 and 3.) The affinity group Nobody’s Fool took responsibility after tricking the Washington Post and many others into believing the Pfizer press release was real. Upon speaking to a real Pfizer representative, the Post removed the articles and released a statement claiming, “Pfizer is committed to engaging in an honest discussion and real dialogue about the issues that matter to patients.” Is it ironic or just indicative of Big Pharma’s disregard for life that they failed to speak to any of the patients living with HIV, hepatitis C or cancer who stood outside their headquarters demanding drug price reductions?




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In July of 2012, U.S. Attorney for Southern California Laura Duffy announced that, contrary to the policy guidelines of head U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, medical marijuana facilities in San Diego would have to close.

Shortly afterwards, an email went out from her office announcing that she would begin closing pharmacies in the La Jolla district of San Diego. "These pharmacies are not only about providing medicine to the sick," wrote Duffy. "They are part of a pervasive for-profit industry that facilitates the distribution of drugs for illegitimate use. Doctors are prescribing unneeded medication; kids are overdosing on aspirin; police are finding pill bottles at junior high schools."

The release, of course, was fake, but those excuses were the same her office was using to close the medical marijuana facility.

As her office scrambled to deny the release, a fake "denial" release also went out, that further illuminated the absurdity of Duffy's real actions. Then, the right-wing "Federal Accountability Coalition" took credit for the hoax, claiming to oppose Duffy because she was a "Benedict Arnold."

"I’m not a pot smoker or an Obama supporter, but... Duffy’s a Benedict Arnold," said a "FAC" spokesperson. "She’s not following orders. And what’s more, if she shuts down a proper medical marijuana facility, how long until she goes after the pharmacies?"

Finally, the real perpetrators—Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and Canvass for a Cause—revealed the action's true motives. All along the wild ride, the press had a field day.

Selected press:

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July 31, 2012


United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that unknown individuals have forged documents claiming that this office has initiated a shutdown pharmacies in the coastal areas of San Diego County. Many in the community have expressed outrage over the perceived imposition of our department on the rights of San Diego patients to receive their medication.

The U.S. Attorney's office would like to assure the public that these reports are completely false. The office of the U.S. Attorney fully intends to find these perpetrators and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

This feeble attempt to defame her character is clearly an action committed by a group with nothing better to do than waste the time of the media, the people, and, most importantly the office of the U.S. Attorney.

The claims of the false press release sent out hours earlier are completely outrageous. In no way does the office of the U.S. Attorney plan to forfeit the assets of pharmacies as is done with illegal operations like commercial marijuana dispensaries. U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy is committed to upholding justice and keeping the peace, not haphazardly attacking honest businesses.

In regards to the pharmacies who have received cease and desist orders, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy assures them that these letters are completely illegitimate. While it is well within the rights of the U.S. Attorney to shut down pharmacies for abuses of the system, they are not choosing to do so at this time.

In conclusion, the U.S. Attorney asks that the public to disregard the events of these false allegations. People have no reason to worry about the administration of justice conducted by our office. The full extent of our power, tempered by our judgement, will be used to put a stop to these absurd allegations and defamation.

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July 27, 2012


San Diego, CA, July 27, 2012 - The “Cease and Desist” orders and “official” press release announcing the closure of pharmacies in San Diego, purportedly originating from the office of US Attorney Laura Duffy, are indeed fake.

This hoax was conducted in retaliation against US Attorney Laura Duffy for her insubordination against the Obama Administration and Government of the United States of America.

Duffy’s superiors, President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, have both pledged that Federal resources would not be used to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries operating in compliance with state law. Despite this pledge to the American public, U.S. Attorney Duffy has used Federal power to target medical marijuana dispensaries with asset forfeiture. Her office has made it clear that she is willing to push her agenda regardless of state laws, personal liberties and the free-market.

Recently, Laura Duffy’s office has pursued the closure of San Diego County’s only permitted medical marijuana dispensary, in direct violation of official policy.

“I’m not a pot smoker or an Obama supporter, but I am a concerned citizen and property owner.” said Dexter Haight from the Federal Accountability Coalition. “Duffy’s a Benedict Arnold. She’s not following orders. And what’s more, if she shuts down a proper medical marijuana facility, how long until she goes after the pharmacies? Duffy’s actions are emblematic of erosions of our personal liberty and property rights that have become so commonplace in our post-9/11 world. What will she confiscate next, my home, my guns, the local farmer’s market?”

Benedict Arnold was an American General during the Revolutionary War whose name became synonymous with treason once it was discovered that he attempted to sell West Point to the British. After American victory in the war, Arnold was exiled to Britain where he lived out the rest of his life shamed and banished.

“Benedict Arnold betrayed America because he wasn’t liked by citizens or his peers. It’s a well known fact that Duffy is the least well regarded of the four US Attorneys in California. Bitterness festered into insubordination in Arnold’s case and led to treason. Duffy is already insubordinate, what’s next?”

Letters distributed by the US Attorney’s office signed by Duffy have stated, regarding property seizure: "Real and personal property involved in such [illegal] operations are subject to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States ... regardless of the purported purpose..." In another press release from her office she boasts of collecting “$29,725,382” in asset forfeitures in 2011 from the Southern District alone.

“I can’t believe how proud she is of taking Americans’ property; maybe it’s because she was appointed, not elected. Maybe it’s bitterness over her low reputation. Either way, it’s time she is held accountable by President Obama and Eric Holder for her flagrant insubordination.”

Haight continues, “Our founding fathers grew hemp for paper and ropes. Nobody was taking their property. Today, if someone threw a pot seed into my yard, they’d come and take my house. It’s criminal.”

Dexter Haight, Federal Accountability Coalition

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