“Where There’s Smoke, There’s Pfizer”: growing protests against appointment of Big Pharma exec to research funding agency

This news could be compared to inviting the fox to be in charge of the henhouse.  Except that it’s more like inviting the fox right into the henhouse to relax, put up his feet, and help himself to a three-year supply of Buffalo wings. That’s why opposition continues to mount this week against the Canadian government’s questionable appointment of a top pharmaceutical executive to the council governing Canada’s largest health research agency. Thousands of people, including several prominent medical ethicists and researchers, have signed a petition this week calling for the withdrawal of the appointment of Dr. Bernard Prigent, vice-president and medical director of Pfizer Canada, to the governing council of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, which has a $1-billion annual budget funding the work of thousands of medical researchers across Canada.

The publicly-funded CIHR awards grants to researchers across the country working in health and medicine. Its governing council consists mainly of scientists, medical practitioners and health administrators drawn from Canadian universities.  And now, drawn from Big Pharma too.  Continue reading