State OF Texas Sues Pfizer Over COVID Vaccine Claims

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It is no exaggeration to say that one of Big Pharma’s biggest players, Pfizer, has had an excellent pandemic – over $100 billion in revenue in 2022 alone. The rate at which this growth has been declining since Covid apparently made a disappearing act, and the number of people willing to be vaccinated against it decreased dramatically, speaks clearly of how important the jab it produced in record time has been to Pfizer.

It logically follows that the company would plausibly have done a lot of marketing to protect this “golden goose.” That is what a lawsuit brought by Texan authorities pretty much alleges – that Pfizer went as far as to use false and deceptive marketing to sell its vaccine and pushed for online censorship of criticism.

The lawsuit was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who accused the drugmaker of misrepresenting the efficacy of its widely-used COVID-19 vaccine. In the complaint filed in a Lubbock County state court, Paxton said it was misleading for Pfizer to claim its vaccine was 95% effective because it offered a “relative risk reduction” for people who took it.

Paxton said the claim was based on only two months of clinical trial data, and vaccine recipients’ “absolute risk reduction” showed that the vaccine was just 0.85% effective. He also said the pandemic got worse even after people started taking the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech .

“Pfizer intentionally misrepresented the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine, and censored persons who threatened to disseminate the truth in order to facilitate fast adoption of the product and expand its commercial opportunity,” the complaint said.

The lawsuit seeks to stop New York-based Pfizer from making alleged false claims and silencing “truthful speech” about its vaccine, and more than $10 million in fines for violating a Texas law protecting consumers from deceptive marketing.

Meanwhile, Pfizer is engaging in maneuvering to deal with the accusations – evidently hoping it has a better chance before a federal court than it does before the 99th Judicial District Court for Lubbock County. Just days before the end of 2023, Pfizer’s attorneys asserted that the Lubbock-based court had no jurisdiction in the case, and asked that it be moved to the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

While at it, they naturally want the whole lawsuit dismissed; citing things like shielded liability; thanks to the PREP (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness) Act – but also invoking speech protections that are supposed to be guaranteed by the First Amendment.

This last curious bit of legal gymnastics has to do with Pfizer acting on behalf of the federal government to produce the vaccine; adding that the corporation therefore seeks “immunity” – i.e., lack of liability – from the accusations listed in the filing.

“Pfizer is not liable because Pfizer did not make any statement nor take any action that had the capacity or tendency to deceive consumers,” is specifically how the US multinational phrased it in the motion to move, and dismiss the case.

Pfizer reacted fairly swiftly to the Texas AG lawsuit filed on the last day of November, which claims that false, misleading or deceptive claims had been made by the company concerning its Covid vaccine. The goal, according to AG Paxton, an attempt to “intimidate and censor critics of the vaccine” which “violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act in marketing claims the company made about the efficacy, duration of protection and ability of its Covid-19 vaccine to prevent transmission.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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