Peter Rost (doctor)
Peter Rost, M.D. (born 1959 in Gothenburg, Sweden) is a former vice president at the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and most well known for testifying in the United States Congress against the business methods of the pharmaceutical industry. He is also an author of the insider books, The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman and Killer Drug. Rost provides services as a pharmaceutical marketing expert witness, speaker and writer.
Rost is the author of The Whistleblower, Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman. The Whistleblower is at once an unmasking of how corporations take care of malcontents and a gripping story of one man's fight to maintain his family and his sanity. Starting in 2003, the book details the illegal, even criminal business practices the author witnessed at his corporation, as well as his crusade to legalize the reimportation of drugs.
His fight for lower priced drugs was covered by radio and television broadcasts, among them 60 Minutes, and many newspaper articles, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.
Rost is the author of a medical text book, Emergency Surgery, and has written numerous op-eds for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and dozens of other major newspapers. He testified before the U.S. Senate, as well as many state congresses and conducted numerous press conferences with U.S. Senators, Members of U.S. Congress, and State Governors.
Rost was terminated from his employment as Vice President for Pfizer in December 2005. After it became known that Rost’s allegations had resulted in an ongoing criminal investigation of Pfizer’s marketing practices by the U.S. Department of Justice, Rost was nominated "Whiny Whistleblower of the Year 2005," by a drug company front organization; The American Council on Science and Health. Rost competed for this title with two other consumer heroes; David Graham, FDA, and Eric Topol, the Cleveland Clinic. The American Council on Science and Health has accepted funding from Pfizer, Rost's prior employer.
Prior to his work for Pfizer, Rost was a Managing Director for Wyeth, responsible for the Nordic region in Europe. During this assignment he had four countries reporting to him and he doubled sales in the region in two years and moved the sales ranking of the Swedish affiliate from #19 to #7 by lowering drug prices. Later, working for Pharmacia, he tried to stop illegal promotion of the growth hormone Genotropin for off-label uses when the Pfizer acquisition occurred.
Influential website The Huffington Post banned Peter Rost from blogging on this site in June 2006, after he discovered an anonymous heckler on his blog was actually the Post's technology manager. In his Huffington Post blog, Peter Rost exposed the identity of the heckler - known as a "troll" in blogging parlance - which prompted the Post to block his access. The Huffington Post later changed its policy and disallowed employees to respond to blogs. The Post also removed "recommended replies," which Rost had shown could be abused.
In September 2006, Rost's book, "The Whistleblower, Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman" was published. The New York Post wrote, "A drug company executive is about to blow the lid off the pharmaceutical industry . . . revealing everything from sex in the corner office to private investigators spying on employees, company phone surveillance, FBI investigations and financial shenanigans resulting in million-dollar payouts." And the Library Journal wrote, "Here is a chilling tale from a former Pfizer exec about his decision to expose corporate activities, including takeovers and layoffs, physician payoffs, marketing to juvenile patients, and tax dodging. This blow-by-blow account amply supports his statement that the current U.S. healthcare system is “certainly the best system for the drug companies."
On April 2, 2007, the Department of Justice announced that "PHARMACIA & UPJOHN COMPANY, INC., a subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc., was charged today in federal court with offering a kickback in connection with its outsourcing contract for the administration and distribution of its human growth hormone product, Genotropin. The company has agreed to plead guilty to the charge and pay a criminal fine. Additionally, another Pfizer subsidiary, PHARMACIA & UPJOHN COMPANY LLC, has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the government for its illegal promotion of Genotropin for such “off-label” uses as anti-aging, cosmetic use and athletic performance enhancement. As a result of the criminal plea and deferred prosecution agreement, the companies will pay a total of $34.7 million."
In July 2007 Rost published Killer Drug. According to Amazon.com, "THE CIA on June 26, 2007 declassified secret documents that revealed "the Agency had relations with commercial drug manufacturers, whereby they passed on drugs rejected because of unfavorable side effects." KILLER DRUG is a thriller about one such drug company."
In August 2007 Rost started to write a daily blog for BrandweekNRX and a column for Realtid, a Swedish online business newspaper. Later in 2007 Rost announced his new business venture, as a Pharmaceutical Marketing Expert Witness.
Peter Rost is prominently featured in the award-winning documentary film Fire in the Blood (2013 film).
- Drug Industry Expert Witness
- Public Speaker
- The Peter Rost Blog
- THE WHISTLEBLOWER Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman
- Peter Rost: Pfizer May Have Violated Federal Laws When They Fired Me
- ACSH > Facts & Fears > Archives
- Edwards, J. Bad Medicine. BrandWeek. March 20, 2006.
- Huffington Post blogger blocked | Media | MediaGuardian
- A Blogger Is Bounced From the Huffington Post - New York Times
- BrandweekNRX August 2007
- Litigation Consultant
- Edwards, Jim. "Q&A: Peter Rost on His Quixotic Bid to Become Obama’s FDA Chief", BNET, December 4, 2008. Accessed March 15, 2011. "BNET: The last time I saw you, you were walking round Short Hills, N.J., in a Panama hat. Will you wear your Panama hat to work if you are made FDA commissioner?"
- Peter Rost's personal blog
- Interview at Guernica: a magazine of arts and politics
- Video of Rost's speech to U.S. Congress
- Letter from U.S. Congress on Rost to Pfizer
- Press Release from U.S. Congress on Rost
- Brandweek: Bad Medicine
- BusinessWeek: Legal Tangle At The Fountain Of Youth
- BioPharma: The perils of whistleblowing
- Corporatewatch, Pfizer Inc. Corporate Crimes