15 Years Later…

Pfizer Inc said on Thursday it was recalling all lots of its anti-smoking treatment, Chantix, due to high levels of cancer-causing agents called nitrosamines in the pills. Chantix was approved by the FDA in May 2006 as a prescription medication to help adults aged 18 and over quit smoking and is typically used for 12 to 24 weeks.

Only took them 15 years to figure it out. But it’s OK, it’s not like Pfizer is known for making the largest payouts in history for unethical medical practices, is it? There’s absolutely no chance they’d mess up again. Anybody who doubts their extreme honesty is an uneducated fool.

10 thoughts on “15 Years Later…

  1. Yeah, they probably found out that it helps defeat The Rona … but that would be absurd because that would imply that the [cough] nicotinic cholinergic system [cough]


    [cough] LPDDFTGC! [cough]

    [cough] LSFELLHAP! [cough]

    My goodness! Such a cryptic epitope has overtaken me!

    I shall have to clear my lungs!

    [ahem] … where was I? 🙂


  2. After England voted for Brexit, will EU disintegration proceed with Hungary and Poland be pushed out of EU ? Rod Dreher links to articles describing the situation:

    // ‘Showing Its Teeth’: EU’s Path to a Showdown Over LGBTQ Rights
    The EU is taking a stand to bring Hungary and Poland in line on social issues, a decision that crystallized in an emotional summit.

    The EU threatened Poland with daily fines and frozen payouts in disputes over LGBTQ discrimination and judicial independence. Driven by several prime ministers, the bloc is harnessing powerful new budgetary tools in an unprecedented push to compel Poland and Hungary to reverse moves that undercut the rule of law or lose access to billions of euros.


    Rod mentions: “The chief (but not exclusive) reason is that they hate the law Hungary passed this summer banning LGBT content for minors.” Rod is for such laws, yet this reminds me of Russian law banning homosexual propaganda for minors and not in a good way.


  3. Rod also links to “a strong op-ed by MIT professor Daron Acemoglu, in which he says Hungary must be cast out of the European Union so democracy can work.”

    I do not understand. EU has serious problems with Russia, with covid, with China too if I am understand correctly.

    Is it really the time to weaken EU further because of a bad Hungarian law?

    Does anyone know what is going on in Hungary? I heard about its right wing government, but here EU officials are targeting Poland too. Covid has been a holy cow for the last years, but now even money for covid recovery are withheld?

    Here is Rod’s post:


    1. “what is going on in Hungary?”

      From talks with Hungarians my take is that Orban a bit more corrupt version of Angela Merkel or a blander more ethical version of Putin. He prioritizes the well-being of his economic (not political) allies and (like Merkel and Putin) has somehow convinced the country that they can’t survive without him. He’s also consolidated media so there’s not much in the way of journalistic scrutiny…

      Hungary was much less enthusiastic about the EU than Poland (where about 80% want to stay) so it’s easier to build support by acting tough against it (and people remember how useless the EU was in 2015).

      As they say, political trust takes years to build and can be destroyed in an instant. Greece, Spain, Hungary and Italy have all found the EU to be ineffectual or even worse than useless in times of need but ruthlessly competent when it comes to protecting private German banks…


  4. If you know something, would be grateful to read a post about the future of EU.

    May be, cliff knows what’s going on in Poland. Why is it targeted now? Has it changed for bad for gays lately?

    If there are problems accessing the article, here are the relevants parts:

    // The EU is hoping that, with its newfound financial leverage, it will be able to reverse its paltry record on disciplining rogue members, which has made it more complicated to stand up to China and support democratic values around the world. But with Hungary fully dug in, the bloc’s unity will be tested in a confrontation that could reshape the alliance in the coming years — either by effectively forcing member states accused of democratic backsliding to align themselves with its values or make them reconsider membership in the EU itself.

    Anti-LGBTQ Push
    It escalated this spring with growing frustration over how a loose alliance of illiberal countries were working to undercut ambitious EU plans, and things burst out into the open in June after Budapest passed a law that outlaws content for minors that is deemed to “promote homosexuality.”

    But perhaps the most consequential statement came from Lofven, who reminded his colleagues that, for the first time, payments to member states from the bloc’s 1.8 trillion-euro ($2 trillion) budget — including from the new Covid recovery fund — could be withheld over rule-of-law violations. He added that Swedish taxpayers wouldn’t underwrite laws such as the one passed by Hungary.

    When the EU passed a landmark budget and stimulus package in December to boost the recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, a new mechanism was included that makes payouts conditional on adherence to the rule of law. And the Brussels-based commission, which had been eying a way to increase its geopolitical clout, is the gatekeeper of the stimulus fund — it has to approve each country’s recovery plan before any money can be disbursed.

    Billions at Stake
    Hungary stands to miss out on 7.2 billion euros while Poland would forfeit 23.9 billion euros. The commission so far has disbursed about 50 billion euros to other countries from the stimulus package.

    The EU’s scrutiny of its own member nations’ values comes as the bloc contemplates a more wide-ranging foreign policy. But at the June meeting, Belgium’s De Croo pointed out the irony that the summit’s conclusions were condemning human-rights violations in Ethiopia yet violations were being perpetrated within the bloc.

    In the months ahead, Hungary and Poland can find their own ways of fighting back that could disrupt other EU ambitions. A year ago, both countries blocked the EU’s seven-year budget and the Covid recovery package was only salvaged following a delicately brokered compromise by Germany.

    EU officials have said that a compromise with Poland over the rule-of-law issues could be possible, but they don’t expect a solution with Hungary at least until after the next national election, which could be in April.

    “This is about the EU’s raison d’etre,” Tocci said. “The rule of law questions — whether it’s the judiciary or corruption or civil rights and hence LGBTQ — these are all fundamental pillars of liberal democracy.”


    1. “cliff knows what’s going on in Poland. Why is it targeted now?”

      The LGBT free stuff is basically nonsense, resolutions passed with no legal consequences. Most of it is not really motivated by hostility towards Ls and Gs (it’s been an open secret for decades that the head of the governing party is… not really heterosexual…. story for another day) It’s more caused by things like drag queen story hour and trans kids (which freak me out too, so I understand a little…).

      On the other hand the court stuff is more serious as is an ongoing effort to remove the only tv broadcaster openly critical of the government. More than Hungary though (AFAICT) there are strong movements in the country against both of those.

      On yet another hand, Poland has taken a tough stance on the eastern border with Belarus (with the tacit approval of the EU) Lukashenka shifted his human trafficking racket from Lithuania to Poland and Poland is basically not letting them in. The EU talks about being concerned blah blah blah but is pointedly not saying ‘let them in’.


      1. \ Lukashenka shifted his human trafficking racket from Lithuania to Poland and Poland is basically not letting them in.

        May you clarify, please? I know nothing about it and did not understand who wants to be let to where and how Belarus is connected to it. Which human trafficking racket?

        I thought Middle Eastern migrants were not entering EU via Belarus.


        1. “Which human trafficking racket?”

          Visa free travel to Belarus and upon arrival the army takes them to the border and tries to shove them across. There was a case in Lithuania where Belarussian soldiers crossed the border to make a delivery.
          There places on the border where Polish border guards aren’t letting them in and Belarussian soldiers are not letting them leave.
          Awful and all on Lukshenka…

          Do you think Lukashenka is not getting a cut of the action?


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