A Pfizer executive said that the company effectively “froze him out” after he publicly gave his backing to plans to import cheaper drugs into the USA from abroad.

According to an Associated Press article, Pfizer apparently placed a temporary block Peter Rost’s email and telephone after he appeared on the television show, “60 Minutes”, saying that the importation of cheaper medicines from overseas could help lessen the cost burden for US patients. He contradicted the drug industry line, saying companies are in fact more concerned with profits than patients. While many support importation plans, which they claim would cut the spiraling healthcare costs many in the US currently face [[27/01/05g]], [[18/08/04c]], the Industry has consistently opposed such a move, saying that the safety and quality of imported medicines cannot be guaranteed, and that it would open the door to counterfeit goods [[11/08/03b]], [[07/04/04c]].

Dr Rost, Pfizer’s vice-president of marketing for endocrine care, is clearly a staunch supporter of drug importation – earlier this year, he said that the Industry was “making a historic mistake” in opposing importation [18/02/05c]]. He also spoke in favour of the highly polemic issue last year [[13/09/04c]].