A Conflict by Any Other Name Would Smell as Foul: A Comment on the Appointment of a Vice-President of Pfizer to the CIHR Governing Council

Jocelyn Downie


If one had to pick the pharmaceutical company most associated with unethical and illegal conduct this past year, it would likely be Pfizer. So it seems reasonable to respond with disbelief and outrage to the federal government’s October 5, 2009 appointment of Dr. Bernard Prigent – Vice President, Medical Director and registered lobbyist for Pfizer Canada – to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Governing Council (CIHR GC). This is the body that sets the strategic direction for most federally funded health research in Canada. A senior executive from a for-profit pharmaceutical company should not be given a seat at the CIHR GC table because, at that table, he or she will be faced with unmanageable conflicts of interest.


Health Law; Administrative Law

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