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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, June 10, 2005

Warm and fuzzy drugs

PR Watch's Bob Burton debunks the "generosity" of drug companies in the wake of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami:

"In a series of announcements in the aftermath of the tsunami that swept that swept through East Asia and parts of Africa on December 26 2004, Pfizer committed itself to contribute a total of $20 million in cash and $60 million worth of medicines. Pfizer's staff chipped in a further $2million.

"On its U.S. website Pfizer listed its tsunami response as an example of its commitment to corporate social responsibility. However, at a recent drug industry marketing conference in Sydney the Manager of Government Affairs for Pfizer Australia, David Miles, said that the company would have been better off being less generous. 'We would be better off giving five million and shutting up,' Miles said only a little jokingly. 'As soon as you get into big numbers people think you can double or triple it.'"


Blogger Benoit Lapierre said...

hi from canada
your blog is very interesting

Friday, June 10, 2005 3:33:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks very much. I'm curious, how did you find my blog? Just checked yours, and sadly my French is rather poor.
Keep reading...
Oh, if you're writing anything, in English, on the current state of Canadian politics, I'd be interested...

Friday, June 10, 2005 3:39:00 pm  
Anonymous shabadoo! said...

Speaking of Canada and the's some more interesting data:

"Well, [Paul Martin]'s prime minister of Canada. And in January, after the tsunami hit, he flew into Sri Lanka to pledge millions and millions and millions in aid. Not like that heartless George W. Bush back at the ranch in Texas. Why, Prime Minister Martin walked along the ravaged coast of Kalumnai and was, reported Canada's CTV network, "visibly shaken." President Bush might well have been shaken, but he wasn't visible, and in the international compassion league, that's what counts. So Martin boldly committed Canada to giving $425 million to tsunami relief. "Mr. Paul Martin Has Set A Great Example For The Rest Of The World Leaders!" raved the LankaWeb news service.

You know how much of that $425 million has been spent so far? Fifty thousand dollars -- Canadian. That's about 40 grand in U.S. dollars. The rest isn't tied up in Indonesian bureaucracy, it's back in Ottawa. But, unlike horrible "unilateralist" America, Canada enjoys a reputation as the perfect global citizen, renowned for its commitment to the U.N. and multilateralism. And on the beaches of Sri Lanka, that and a buck'll get you a strawberry daiquiri. Canada's contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent."

Friday, June 10, 2005 3:56:00 pm  

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