Friday, October 1, 2010

How Much Pfizer Would You Sell to Get in the Game?

By Prihatha Narasimmaraj '14

Chief Justice John Roberts announced today that he has sold $15,000 worth of Pfizer stock, a move that makes him eligible to weigh in on Supreme Court cases concerning the pharmaceutical company. Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, accepted by the Court in March, will determine if vaccine makers are protected from product liability lawsuits by federal law. Astra USA v. County of Santa Clara, received just yesterday, is an appeal by several companies (including Pfizer) against a lawsuit filed by the California county of Santa Clara. The lawsuit claims that these companies overcharged federally-funded hospitals and clinics for prescription drugs. As Chief Justice, Roberts is expected to preserve the impartiality and reputation of the Court, and this move isn’t doing him any favors. Last time I checked, selling Pfizer stock doesn’t cancel out the fact that you bought it in the first place (and are more than a little interested in the company’s success). Methinks he should take a hint from fellow Justice Sonia Sotomayor (oh hey, Class of ’76) and recuse himself while he’s ahead.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Given the age of the justices, I'm pretty sure they all, directly or indirectly benefit from the Pfizer product in the picture. Maybe they should all recuse themselves.exank

Anonymous said...

Selling your Pfizer stock would, however, cancel out his ability to profit from a positive result for Pfizer. Without that there's no clear reason for Roberts to be biased in favor Pfizer.

Anonymous said...

^ but what about being biased against Pfizer? he might also be inclined to sell because he bought the stock at a higher price and is now losing money. it goes both ways.

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