Friday, March 11, 2011

We Need To Protect Whistleblowers Who Have the Courage to Protect Us

Did you watch 60 Minutes on CBS on January 2, 2011? It shows the pharmaceutical company Glaxo paying a $750,000,000 criminal fine for mixing mis-labeled drugs that could kill people. The Glaxo manager who blew the whistle was fired. Can we as a nation afford to endanger our citizens by protecting these companies? Please watch this episode and consider the consequences, Missouri Legislature, before you give a pass to corporations engaged in unlawful and dangerous conduct.

The proposed legislation not only places caps on damages, but also requires there be an actual violation of the law, not a reasonable belief that the law has been or will be broken. With caps on damages, companies like Glaxo could continue to sell dangerous drugs, figuring a recall or change of the drug would be more costly than the maximum award under the statute for a large company - a mere $300,000. Show Neva pharmaceutical company that doesn't anticipate profits of considerably more than $300,000 and I will eat my hat.

Must people actually die before a whistleblower gets protection. Under HB 205 and SB 188, the answer may be yes. Under those bills, illegal or criminal conduct must have already occurred. Is this how we want to reward those brave souls who put the public before their own well-being. Please stop these bills from passing. Write your legislator now.

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