- In response to a front-page article in the NYT on October 29 in which the paper alleged unethical communications between Pfizer and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, Pfizer's Chief General Counsel has written a letter to the NYT denying all allegations of wrong-doing.
- Pfizer's counsel, Douglas Lankler, said that the story cast Pfizer's conversations with Attorney General Koster in a negative light. But according to Lankler, the conversations were part of a process of "common negotiations" related to a pending case.
- Attorney General Koster also denied allegations related to the events that inspired the article. Koster said that the article "misrepresents the facts, distorting events to create an appearance of impropriety where none exists."
The title of the article published in the NYT that so aggrieved Pfizer was, "Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General." This article essentially alleged foul play, and even hinted at illegal activities.
Chief General Counsel and Executive Vice President Lankler replied immediately in a letter dated October 29, and published on November 9. In addition to defending Pfizer's approach to communications with the Missouri Attorney General's office, Lankler also noted that Pfizer complies with state election law requirements—and even voluntarily publishes a semiannual report listing all of its political contributions.
As BioPharma Dive has previously reported, Pfizer was the biggest political contributor out of the pharmaceutical industry during the 2014 midterm election cycle, hedging its support between Democrats and Republicans.