"Altruistica": Seeking a return to full financial disclosure and regulatory oversight. A financial market analysis blog for "entertainment purposes" only by an experienced CFA seeking new hedge fund engagements for investment writing and analysis. The author has experience investing internationally, running a hedge fund, making angel investments, and helping launch five startup companies. Investors should do their own due diligence.

22 December 2006

Failed Pfizer CEO McKinnell gets $200m Golden Parachute

Crafty ol' Hank McKinnell, ran his drug company into the ground but made off like a bandit! Oh, he was a crook, in my opinion, why isn't he retiring to a jail cell???

Huge pay for ousted CEO of Pfizer
From the Associated Press, December 22, 2006

Pfizer Inc.'s former chief executive, Henry A. McKinnell, who was forced into early retirement in part because of investor anger about his rich retirement benefits, will get a retirement package totaling more than $180 million, a new regulatory filing shows. McKinnell's package, which the company disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, included an estimated $82.3 million in pension benefits, $77.9 million in deferred compensation and cash and stock totaling more than $20.7 million.

Well, ol' Hank has already been called to the Hill to explain why some American go hungry simply because they are forced to choose between food or their medicines. It turns out, one of Hank's own outted him:

In his February 16, 2005 testimony before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Dr. Peter Rost, Pfizer V-P for Marketing, said: "Every day Americans die because they can't afford life-saving drugs, because we want to protect the profits of foreign corporations. I believe we have to speak out for the people who can't afford drugs, in favor of free trade and against a closed market. Stopping good reimportation bills has a high cost. Not just in money, but in American lives."

Dr. Rost is a whistleblower whose concern is that 67 million Americans are without insurance for drugs. And many of them don't get the drugs they need because they can't afford them, because drugs cost twice as much in the US as in other countries.

But, it's only costing Americans around $40B in drug overcharges...

Dr. Rost has calculated that taxpayers could save $37.8 billion by legalizing drug reimportation. He also debunked the arguments of the big pharmaceutical companies-half of who are foreign companies who, in their own country, abide by their government's "reference pricing" (best price) at which drugs are sold in Europe. These same companies are price gouging the American taxpayer:
"They take out big ads in American newspapers (e.g., Glaxo) and tell us that reimportation is not safe, while they know full well that it's been done safely and cost-effectively in their own home markets, in Europe, for over twenty years." He cited a study reported in The journal Diabetes Care in February, 2004: 28% of older adults with diabetes said they went without food or other necessities to pay for drugs. And another study by the Kaiser Foundation (2001) reported that 15% of uninsured children and 28% of uninsured adults had gone without prescription medication because of cost.

Even more outrageously, ol' Hank (who chaired the Business Roundtable) urged his nicely compensated CEOs at other corporations to gut worker pensions and benefits.

At the urging of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, an SEC advisory panel recommended in December to exempt 80 percent of public companies from requirements that their financial statement and internal controls be certified by outside accountants. The independent certifications are required by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law, which was enacted after the collapse of Enron and WorldCom. One of the biggest backers of the exemption is the Business Roundtable, chaired by Pfizer CEO Henry McKinnell. Under McKinnell, the Roundtable also is fighting the compensation disclosure rules and is a major backer of efforts to privatize Social Security.

Where is the outrage?


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