A UK regulatory body found Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla guilty of making misleading statements about his company’s vaccine.
In December 2021, Bourla appeared on the BBC, where he promoted the vaccine to children under 12 before the UK regulatory authorities had even authorized it.
“Immunising that age group in the UK and Europe would be a very good idea,” Bourla said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the benefits, completely are in favour of [vaccinating 5 to 11 year olds in the UK and Europe],” he added.
Subsequently, a private company called UsForThem, which seeks to protect children’s rights, filed a complaint to the UK’s Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA).
In December 2022, PMCPA determined Bourla’s statements breached three codes of practice because they were unsubstantiated and unbalanced.
- 6.1 – “Information, claims and comparisons must be accurate, balanced, fair, objective and unambiguous…”
- 6.2 – “Any information, claim or comparison must be capable of substantiation.”
- 26.2 – “Information about prescription only medicines which is made available to the public either directly or indirectly must be factual and presented in a balanced way.”
Sanction-wise, Pfizer was given a slap on the wrist. The PMCPA gave Pfizer a document which essentially attempts to ensure the same violations don’t happen again. Additionally, PMCPA made Pfizer pay administration charges for the case review.
In a detailed Substack on the case, UsForThem alleges the sanctions were so small because the PMCPA is financially captured by Pfizer.
“The PMCPA, the key UK regulator in this area, operates as a division of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the UK industry’s trade body.”
“It is therefore a regulator funded by, and which exists only by the will of, the companies whose behaviour it is charged with overseeing. Despite Pharma being one of the most lucrative and well-funded sectors of the business world, the largely self-regulatory system on which the industry has now for decades had the privilege to rely has been under-resourced and has become slow, meek and powerless.”