"We've done the right thing all along"
That's what Pfizer spokesman Jay Kosminsky had to say about their lobbying efforts on Sudafed and methamphetamines in an article in the Wall Street Journal.
This quote goes a long way to explain the huge gulf between business (and politics) and the people.
When I tell people about the title of my new book (link) All Marketers are Liars they usually shake their head and say, "of course." This is one more reason why.
Sudafed and other similar cold medicines, it turns out, are a prime raw material for making meth, an insanely dangerous drug that's ruining the lives of tens of thousands of kids. States have worked hard to require these over the counter drugs to be sold behind the counter instead. They've often been stymied by lobbyists for the drug industry--led for years by Pfizer, which had a lot to lose if people had to ask for the drug instead of just grabbing it.
Well, Pfizer is launching a new formulation of Sudafed that won't contain the necessary ingredient for meth, so now it won't be affected by a new law. In fact, a new law will be a home run for them, since the drug will be all alone on the shelf.
Guess who's now leading the fight to move the offending drugs to the back of the store?
Good for Pfizer for fixing Sudafed. But shame on them for believing that doing the right thing all along is the same as doing the right short-term thing for the shareholders. It's not the same. It's not the same ethically, and it's not the same in terms of long term profit or branding either.