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The Whistleblower: Confessions Of a Healthcare Hitman Paperback – Sep 1 2006
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As a Pfizer employee, I am extremely upset by the facts laid out in Dr. Rost's book 'The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman.' I had previously `drank the Pfizer blue kool-aid.' An example: Pfizer has a number of 'values' and 'leader behaviors' printed on expensive, colorful posters and on cardboard mobiles which hang throughout the hallways of it's skyscrapers and campus buildings. To think these values and leader behaviors are just for the little people--the rank and file worker--and that top Pfizer executives and management who strive to be promoted to the executive ranks are above ethical behavior will forever change how I view Pfizer. Pfizer's corporate tag line is "Life is our life's work." After reading Dr. Rost's book, they ought to scratch out the word `life' and add the word `hypocrisy' in there somewhere. If Dr. Rost's thrilling new book is true, I'm thoroughly disgusted by Pfizer's behavior towards honest employees.
I think the review below titled "Don't Take Him Seriously" was written by someone who either did not read the book or who is a shill for the drug industry; when I checked his two other reviews each give one star and panned books about "Big Pharma". So I would not give much credence to that review. You will love reading this book and learn something along the way. Peter Rost deserves praise for his courage, ability to tell a story and for providing a revealing look inside big drug corporations.
Many of these whistleblowers not only lose their jobs and livelihood, but are harassed and stalked by private investigators. They are threatened by pharmaceutical companies' inhouse counsel. They are told, as Dr. Rost was, "You'll never work in this industry again." This book confirms the best and the worst in people who work in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Rost represents the best and some of his former co-workers, the worst. If you are thinking about blowing the whistle in order to save lives, to do the right thing, improve the lives of others - whatever your reason is - you should read this book first. Will it scare you? Yes. Will you think about backing out? Yes. Will your dear friends and co-workers lie in depositions to save their jobs? Yes. Will you be able to look in a mirror every day for the rest of your life? Yes. Will your children look up to you because you took a stand and did the right thing? I hope to God they will. And if they don't, I will.
Dr. Rost's book is, unfortunately, best enjoyed and understood by people either currently employed in the pharmaceutical industry, unemployed because they were retaliated against or whistleblowers from other industries. His writing is detail heavy - appreciated by an attorney like myself - but perhaps a little tedious for the casual reader. However, if you really, truly want to know what is going on at any of the mega pharmaceuticals firms, this book will provide you with valuable insider insight you won't find anywhere else.
I'd also like to take my hat off to Dr. Rost's attorney for his patience with his media-friendly and zealous client. It can be difficult for an attorney to see beyond the dollar signs of a settlement through to the heart of a client who is intent on bringing the truth forward - even at the risk of their own case, their own settlement. Most whistleblowers aren't troublemakers. They didn't wake up one morning thinking, "I'm going to start looking for something I can blow the whistle on." They're not gadflys. They are normal, decent people for whom the principle is thing. It's right vs. wrong for them. They know wrong when they see it and they can't look away. They can't forget. They can't go along with it. So they start by speaking up; hoping, against hope that their dissent at a meeting will stop the wrong. But it doesn't. Little by little they begin to realize that they're the only one in the room who has a problem with what they are being told to do. For most people, integrity has a price tag. For whistleblowers, it doesn't. They may end up with a check in the end, but usually only after that suffering years of harrasment, unemployment or underemployment, depression, criticism from friends and family, and isolation from co-workers. How do you put a price tag on that?
Years ago, I spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, the Brown & Williamson whistleblower who put big tobacco and their lies on "Sixty Minutes" and whose story was memorialized in the movie The Insider. Our conversations took place years after he testified against big tobacco, after he had changed careers and was voted Teacher of the Year. The thing I remember most is that he told me that even years later, he was still be followed. Still being harassed. Still receiving death threats. I ask again, how do you put a price tag on that?
We live in a world where people are encouraged to drink the corporate kool-aid. Why? Look what happened in Jonestown? Pharmaceutical companies are just a corporate cult with market share as the savior, medicines as their demi-gods and doctors as their disciples. Read the book. May it help all of us strive to be better people - people who are willing to stick out our necks in order to leave this world a little better than it was the day we entered it. Good job, Dr. Rost. And if it doesn't sound too condescending...I'm proud of you.
It all began when the company that Pfizer bought (Pharmacia) began marketing a drug for non-FDA-approved uses, which is highly illegal and could indeed kill people. And it may have, we just don't know. Rost's book is one of the few that, once I started reading, I couldn't put down until I finished it. A rarity for me. Thanks to all of the Peter Rosts of the world who put integrity above profit -- but to Pfizer, shame on you.
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