Showing posts with label far right politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label far right politics. Show all posts

Friday, 25 September 2020

Morrison Government continues to drag its feet on national greenhouse gas emissions reduction


Renew Economy, 21 September 2020:

Morrison said, of net zero emissions:

"Well, as you know, our policy is to achieve that in the second half of this century, and I certainly will achieve that, and that’s why this week’s announcements were so important because it was about the technology we need to invest in now, which will make it a reality, particularly on the other side of 2030. The target that you’ve talked about becomes absolutely achievable. I’m interested in doing the things that make that happen. I think that is very achievable"…..

Morrison was, in fact, effectively stating that Australia would reach net zero emissions by 2100. Heck, what’s a half-century between friends?

In fact, Australia’s Paris climate agreement targets are neatly aligned with reaching net zero by 2100, whereas Labor’s old 45% by 2030 targets were aligned with net zero by 2050 (the far safer option). Unfortunately, the latest projections from the government are wildly off course, not only for net zero by 2050, but also for net zero by 2100….

If the rate of yearly emissions drops between 2020 and 2030 in Australia’s government projections continue, by my own reckoning, Australia will reach net zero emissions in the year 2300….

The Guardian, 22 September 2020:

The Morrison government’s rejection of a net zero emissions target for 2050 is at odds with the Paris agreement and more than 100 countries that have backed the goal, according to some of Australia’s most experienced climate experts..... 

countries in Paris including Australia had specifically asked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to examine what 1.5C of heating would mean, and what needed to be done to avoid it. 

The resulting report, released in 2018, found global emissions needed to effectively be cut in half by 2030 – to be 45% below 2010 levels – and to reach net zero by 2050. It found staying within 2C heating would require net zero by 2070, but the impact of that was likely to be far worse

Australia chose to stick with its existing 2030 target of a 26% to 28% cut below 2005 levels and is yet to set a date to reach net zero.....

By contrast, [Erwin] Jackson said, Australia was “confusing the market”. “On the one hand, it has signed up to an international agreement that is supposed to put it on a path to net zero emissions by no later than 2050,” he said. “On the other, it keeps talking about ‘low emissions’. We’ve moved on from a conversation about low emissions. Globally, we have recognised we need to get to zero emissions.”

BACKGROUND

Australia is almost standing still when it comes to reducing its national annual greenhouse gas emissions. At the end of 19 calendar years in 2019 federal government policy has only resulted in our annual greenhouse gas emissions falling by a trifling 18.5 metric tonnes in comparison with the annual emissions at the end of the year 2000.

Estimated National Greenhouse Gas Emissions in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or MTCO2e over last 20 years - includes Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry:

2000 - 551 Mt CO2-e
2001 - 570 Mt CO2-e
2002 - 568 Mt CO2-e
2003 - 561 Mt CO2-e
2004 - 574 Mt CO2-e
2005 - 597 Mt CO2-e 
2006 - 610 Mt CO2-e
2007 - 606 Mt CO2-e
2008 - 590 Mt CO2-e 
2009 - 584 Mt CO2-e 
2010 - 543 Mt CO2-e
2011 - 546.3 Mt CO2-e
2012 - 551.9 Mt CO2-e (total excludes Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry)
2013 - 538.4Mt CO2-e
2014 - 535.9 Mt CO2-e 
2015 - 535.7 Mt CO2-e
2016 – 543.3 Mt CO2-e
2017 – 533.7 Mt CO2-e
2018 – 532.5 Mt CO2-e 
2019 – 532.5 Mt CO2-e (this annual total marks a difference of only -18.5 Mt CO2-e compared with the year 2000 annual total)
2020 – 528.7 Mt CO2-e (total up to 30 March)

Note:
Unadjusted figures found in Australian Government National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: Quarterly updates.and at Australian Dept. of Environment and Energy.
The estimated totals from 2000 to 2009 are from Dept. of Energy and Environment.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Proof that the Morrison Government considers itself above the law


Image: ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN, The Sydney Morning Herald 
Minister for for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population & Liberal MP for Aston Alan Tudge (left) has been Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs since 13 December 2019.

It is to him the following Federal Court of Australia judgment refers.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs v PDWL [2020] FCA 1354 (23 September 2020), excerpts from judgment of 23 September 2020:

CONCLUSIONS

Ground 1 of the Amended Originating Application has been upheld. Notwithstanding the agreement between the parties to the Tribunal proceeding, the Tribunal erred in acting upon the agreement between the parties that the decision in BAL19 required it “to set aside the ... delegate’s decision” and that “[the] only question” to be resolved was the form of the “further order” to be made under s 43(1)(c) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act.

Although the Tribunal quite properly acted upon the agreement of the parties that it was bound by BAL19, the fact remains that the Tribunal failed to give any consideration to a matter of fundamental importance to a decision as to whether to grant or refuse a protection visa – namely, the discretion conferred by s 501(1). In failing to do so, the Tribunal committed jurisdictional error.

The second Ground of review, it has tentatively been concluded has some merit.

Even if both Grounds of review were made out, however, relief should be refused in the exercise of the Court’s discretion. The Minister cannot place himself above the law and, at the same time, necessarily expect that this Court will grant discretionary relief. The Minister has acted unlawfully. His actions have unlawfully deprived a person of his liberty. His conduct exposes him to both civil and potentially criminal sanctions, not limited to a proceeding for contempt. In the absence of explanation, the Minister has engaged in conduct which can only be described as criminal. He has intentionally and without lawful authority been responsible for depriving a person of his liberty. Whether or not further proceedings are to be instituted is not a matter of present concern. The duty Judge in the present proceeding was quite correct to describe the Minister’s conduct as “disgraceful”. Such conduct by this particular Minister is, regrettably, not unprecedented: AFX17 v Minister for Home Affairs (No 4) [2020] FCA 926 at [8] to [9] per Flick J. Any deference to decisions made by Ministers by reason of their accountability to Parliament and ultimately the electorate assumes but little relevance in the present case. Ministerial “responsibility”, with respect, cannot embrace unlawful conduct intentionally engaged in by a Minister who seeks to place himself above the law. Although unlawful conduct on the part of a litigant does not necessarily dictate the refusal of relief, on the facts of the present case the Minister’s conduct warrants the refusal of relief.

It is finally concluded that there should be no order for costs. Although PDWL has succeeded in retaining the visa granted to him, that result follows not from the lack of success on the part of the Minister in establishing jurisdictional error but rather from the discretionary refusal of relief.

THE ORDERS OF THE COURT ARE:

The Amended Originating Application filed on 20 July 2020 is dismissed.
There is no order as to costs. [my yellow highlighting]

Alan Tudge should resign from the Australian Parliament with immediate effect.

However, it is highly likely he will refuse any call to do so and instead appeal this judgment.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

COVID_19 reached Australia around 236 days ago but Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not act on fully implementing contact tracing of overseas air arrivals until Day 234


Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison and his office were quick with the excuses and blame for others when found out, but a man already notorious for being chronically workshy has just reinforced his reputation.

There was a reason most of the jobs he held between leaving university and entering the Australian Parliament lasted no more than two years' duration and, unfortunately the drought, then the bushfires and now the pandemic are showing us that reason.

News.com.au, 18 September 2020:

Scott Morrison was warned that COVID-19 contact tracers urgently needed airlines to keep more data on travellers in January but failed to secure agreement on the mandated collection of information for travellers until today’s national cabinet.

Correspondence obtained by news.com.au confirms that Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wrote to the Prime Minister on January 31, just days after the first confirmed case in Australia on the “matter of national importance”.

As the states dealt with the influx of international passengers, they were shocked to learn that incoming travellers’ passenger cards were essentially thrown in the bin or unable to be accessed on privacy grounds.

In the letter, the Queensland Premier warned the Prime Minister that the states’ ability to respond to the emerging public health crisis would be greatly assisted “if your government, as the primary recipient of information concerning people entering Australia, could undertake to contact anyone considered at-risk”.

It is important that in times such as these we work together to respond quickly and effectively to minimise the potential risk this emerging public health issue poses to our community,” she wrote.

The correspondence also asked the Morrison Government to share information with the states about arrivals from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Only the Federal Government has the details on their incoming boarding card of who they are, where they are staying and their mobile phone contact numbers.

We need to contact those people. I don’t know at the moment in Queensland where people from the Hubei province currently are because the Federal Government has that information.”

Ultimately, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the full Tigerair manifest, including emails, contact numbers and other known details of all the passengers was given to the Queensland Government.

But despite the pleas of state leaders since January, the mandatory collection of data on domestic flight has taken more than six months to finalise.

Privacy laws have proved a minefield for public servants to navigate, with the Morrison Government forced to find “work arounds” to provide contact details on international travellers while the collection of information on domestic flights was even worse.

The Prime Minister confirmed the new arrangements today for the mandatory data collection on domestic flights to assist states and territories when it comes to contact tracing.

From 1 October, part of the mandatory manifest information will be name, email address, a mobile contact number, and a state of residence,’’ Mr Morrison said.

There’s still some work to be done there. That will be arranged with the major airlines, with the Department of Infrastructure, and those arrangements are being put in place now.

Now, that is just simply to help our state and territory agencies in the contact tracing that they may be required to do, when it comes to tracking when people are moving from state to state, and that information will, of course, be treated sensitively by the states and territories in the same way that public health information is always treated.”  [my yellow highlighting]

ABC News, 19 September 2020:

Flights with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are published by state health authorities.

According to New South Wales Health, there were nine domestic flights that passed through the state that had confirmed cases of COVID-19 from May to August.

Health authorities list the rows considered to be "close contacts" of the confirmed case.

Those who have been in close contact with a confirmed case are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

* CREDIT: Image of Scott Morrison from The Monthly.

Monday, 14 September 2020

NSW Koalas Need Your Help - NOW! Phone or email a state government pollie today



Nort East Forest Alliance, media release, 10 September 2020:

Liberals need support to save Koalas from National Party



The North East Forest Alliance is calling on people who want core Koala habitat to be identified and protected from logging to contact the Liberal Party and encourage them to resist National Party bullying.

The Koala State Environment Planning Policy (SEPP) was introduced by the coalition in 1995, with the then National Party member for Ballina, Don Page, claiming credit for it, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

"The SEPP basically requires the preparation of Koala Plans of Management (KPoM) that identify core Koala habitat. These are required to be prepared for individual Development Applications over core Koala habitat, though the emphasis is on Councils preparing shire wide Koala plans.

"Where Councils identify core Koala habitat it is identified as Sensitive Regulated Land and therefore can't be cleared under an exemption, and is excluded from logging under the Private Native Forest logging codes.

"This has been intended since the first 1994 Koala SEPP, yet the Koala inquiry identified that over the last 25 years only 6 comprehensive KPoMs have been approved, and these are mostly just for parts of Local Government Areas, and mostly don't identify core Koala habitat.

"The bipartisan Koala Inquiry found that the regulatory framework for private native forestry does not protect koala habitat with the theoretical protections for koalas 'weakened substantially, or indeed non-existent, when practically applied'.

"In 2019 the Coalition adopted a revamped Koala SEPP that tries to make the process for identifying core Koala habitat workable.

"Since then Timber NSW have been worried that if Councils identify core Koala habitat then they won't be able to log it, and have been targeting the National Party in a campaign to overturn the SEPP.

"The current threat by the National Party to resign from the Coalition is all about trying to make the identification of core Koala habitat unworkable so that it can continue to be logged and cleared.

"Koalas had declined by over 50% on the north coast since the Koala SEPP was first introduced 26 years ago, then in 2019/20 30% of their high quality habitat was burnt, with losses of 44-100% of Koalas from firegrounds. Since 2015 clearing of native vegetation has doubled, with no consideration of Koalas.

"Wild Koalas will likely go extinct in NSW by 2050 if the National Party continue like this.

"NEFA are asking people to email or phone the offices of Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Environment Minister Matt Kean to thank them for helping protect Koalas against National Party bullying. Encourage them to provide support to Councils to complete the mapping of core Koala habitat across NSW within 5 years.

"NEFA are also asking people to email or phone the offices of north coast National Party representatives to protest their attempts to remove protections for Koalas, such as Geoff Provest (Tweed), Chris Gulaptis (Clarence), Gurmesh Singh (Coffs Harbour), Leslie Williams (Port Macquarie), Melinda Pavey (Oxley), Stephen Bromhead (Myall Lakes) and Upper House representative Ben Franklin.

"We need to show that the community supports Koala protection" Mr. Pugh said.

Parliamentary contacts are at:


Thursday, 10 September 2020

Today NSW Nationals are officially Australia's dumbest state political party


Having individuals members of the National Party of Australia get away with it in the past, on 9 September 2020 the NSW Nationals decided they will no longer support their Coalition partner but will remain in Cabinet, on the expenditure review committee and seated on the government benches.

Why? 

Well the Nats want to repeal State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019 which seeks to encourage the conservation and management of areas of natural vegetation that provide habitat for koalas to support a permanent free-living population over their present range and reverse the current trend of koala population decline.

Apparently their developer and logging mates don't like it.

This State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) applies to land in around 79 local government areas on which there has been a verifiable koala presence for the last 18 years. However, in reality it seems no koala habitat is off-limits to clearing or offsetting under the SEPP.

The NSW Parliamentary Liberal Party of Australia's response to the Nationals dummy spit was clearly and brutally worded..... 



NOTE: In all of John Barilaro's parliamentary speeches since the beginning of 2019 I am yet to find him on his feet in the Legislative Assembly objecting to State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019. It appears Barilaro prefers to have this political stoush play out in the media.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Morrison Government believes that warehousing older Australians until they die is the appropriate function of aged care in Australia?


An estimated 221,300 people in Australia entered aged care services between 2009–10 and 2018–19. 

Months before the COVID-19 global pandemic hit, in fact on 31 October 2019, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety published an interim report titled "Neglect" which stated in the foreword:

As a nation, Australia has drifted into an ageist mindset that undervalues older people and limits their possibilities. Sadly, this failure to properly value and engage with older people as equal partners in our future has extended to our apparent indifference towards aged care services. Left out of sight and out of mind, these important services are floundering. They are fragmented, unsupported and underfunded. With some admirable exceptions, they are poorly managed. All too often, they are unsafe and seemingly uncaring. This must change..... 

We have found that the aged care system fails to meet the needs of our older, often very vulnerable, citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care for older people. It is unkind and uncaring towards them. In too many instances, it simply neglects them.

A little over nine months later this is the Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's opinion of the aged care system his government administers. 

 Financial Review, 14 August 2020:

"On the days that the system falls short, on the days that expectations are not met, I'm deeply sorry about that. Of course I am," the Prime Minister said.

"I know that everyone who is involved in the process who is trying to meet those expectations is equally sorry.

"I think we’ve got to have a reality check about this. I think that it’s great that Australians have high expectations.”….

Mr Morrison said the cohort of Australians seeking aged care had changed significantly since Howard government-era controversies, including revelations of residents being bathed in diluted kerosene.

"We're dealing with a system that is now dealing with a very different demand.

"It is very much at a stage of pre-palliative care. And that is a very different proposition in terms of the facilities, the workforce, the clinical needs, to what it was 10 years ago.

"The system needs to be adjusted to meet that."

This is what his Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians & Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck stated on the floor of the Senate on 31 August 2020:

"There are about 60,000 Australians who die in residential aged care on an annual basis unfortunately, but that's one of the functions of residential aged care." 

Here are some social media comments from older Australians and their families concerning the predominately for profit wharehousing being endorsed and funded by the federal government:

"As older woman something struck me after conversation with other local women in my age group. Everyone expressed horror of residential aged care. Some have told children they do not want this to happen, some expressed an intention to suicide - active or passive. Australia 2020".

"So agree".

"Exactly my sentiments, I've told my children not to ever consider putting me into residential care. I'd rather find a good drug dealer or Euthanasia Medical Specialist to take care of things."

"My 87 year old Mum agrees. Been in the family home for over 50 years, says the only way she'll leave is feet first."

"I certainly will if faced with the prospect of incarceration in one of these hellholes".

"Told my sister and her kids to take me up the back paddock and shoot me before going this way."

"Absolutely, older women I know are all going to "take care of it" for themselves, when the time is right and won't be told what to do and when by others but are afraid they may not have the capacity or the means to do it for themselves they are afraid."

"I’ve had this conversation with my mother. She begged me, in tears, and told me she’d ‘sort it out’ if it came to that."

"Nearly 70 and still in own home. Will NOT go into aged care. Am first generation that can see what “living forever” via meds etc looks like and really has little appeal for me. Voluntary end of life must be looked at but anyone choosing nursing home has absolute right to decency."

"I'm 40, and have worked in an aged care home. I have also told my kids not to put me in a home, that I would rather die with some dignity."

"My mum told me to knock her on the head with a frying pan. I told her I wouldn’t go to jail for her, she could just live with me. Aged care has been a disgrace for decades. It is a genuine fear for seniors & a heartache & fear for families with no other choice."

"Once I'm passed looking after myself is when it's time to go. Seen to much damage done by evil neglect to those who are forced to live past their "best before" date." 

"My parents, who are in their 80s, have both said that they would rather suicide than go into an Aged Care home. I have told them that they can move in with us and we will get the in-home care that they need, but they won't consider this. It makes me sad, but I understand them."


BACKGROUND

Residential aged care for the 221,300:

More than two-thirds of these were an admission into residential care—this was split between permanent (almost 70,000) and respite care (over 83,500).
Of all people entering aged care, around 1 in 5 people were admitted to home care (almost 43,800) and 1 in 10 were admitted to transition care (over 24,000).
Almost 60,800 people were admitted to permanent residential aged care for the first time in 2018–19. [Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, GEN aged care data]

In 2017-18:

More than 3,000 aged care providers in Australia deliver care through nearly 9,000 services (outlets). The sector comprises private (for-profit) providers alongside community-based and charitable providers, and state and territory and local government providers. The mix of ownership type varies across programs, with the largest proportion of for-profit services in the residential care program (41% of residential aged care places are managed by for-profit providers).

Collectively, these services supported the care needs of more than 1.2 million people in 2017–18, at a total cost to governments of $18.4 billion. Consumers may also be asked to contribute to the cost of care. In residential aged care, for example, the cost to governments in 2016–17 was $12.1 billion, and residents contributed a further $4.7 billion (ACFA 2018). [AIHW , Aged Care Snapshot, 11 September 2019]
  • In 1997-98, the average age of entry into residential care for females was 82.8 years; by 2008-09 this had increased to 84.3 years. For males, over the same period, the average age of entry into residential care increased from 79.5 years to 81.6 years.
  • In 2000-01, the average age of people admitted to Community Aged Care Packages was 79.7 years. By 2009-10, this had increased to 81.4 years. Between 2003-04 and 2009-10 the average age of people admitted to Extended Aged Care at Home Packages increased from 80.8 years to 82.2 years.
In June 2018 the majority of older people in residential aged care were 75 years and over – 81% of all men and 90.5% of all women [Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, GEN aged care data]

Fourteen years ago the bi-annual proportion of persons over 65 years of age dying in residential aged care in Australia was estimated at between 34% (high level care only) to 53% (including both high and low level of care plus respite care). [Broad, J.B. et al, 2015, Likelihood of residential aged care use in later life: a simple approach to estimation with international comparison, p.3]

The Minister:

The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 August 2020:

Colbeck was appointed to the Senate in 2002 to fill a vacancy. In 2016 he lost his seat after being demoted to fifth place on the Coalition ticket in Tasmania, but unexpectedly returned in February 2018 after the parliamentary eligibility crisis forced Stephen Parry, a dual British citizen, to resign.

The Prime Minister:

The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 2009: 

Towke won easily. On the first ballot, he polled 10 times as many votes as Morrison, 82 votes to 8, who was eliminated in the first round. His victory meant that a Lebanese Australian would represent the Liberal Party in the seat where the Cronulla riot and revenge raids had taken place 18 months earlier, in December 2005. ''The campaign against me started four days after preselection,'' Towke said.....

Though Towke would eventually win his legal war, the damage had been done. The adverse media coverage set in train a reaction within the party to get rid of him. A second ballot was ordered, in which the balance of power was shifted away from the grassroots in Cook and to the state executive. The second ballot gave the preselection to Scott Morrison. Amazing. He had been parachuted into the seat over Towke's political carcass. Morrison clearly had backers who wanted him to get the seat. ''These guys were prepared to ruin my life,'' Towke said.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

How can you tell when Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is spinning voters a line? He opens his mouth and speaks. How do you know when his decision is flawed? He announces it with a flourish.


It's hard to understand why Scott Morrison chooses to lie so often when he must know how easily he is caught out.

It is easier to understand why he is so frequently attracted to dubious characters - he is the type of overly confident self-important man who is often identified by such individuals as an easy 'mark'.

On the morning of Wednesday 19 August 2020……

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, media release, 19 August 2020:

Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, if it proves successful, through an agreement between the Australian Government and UK-based drug company AstraZeneca.

Under the deal, every single Australian will be able to receive the University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for free, should trials prove successful, safe and effective…..

Scotty From Marketing played dress-ups to make his vaccine announcement
Mask & full lab coat
IMAGE: ABC News, 20 August 2020

ABCNews
, 19 August 2020:

Australians are a step closer to accessing a coronavirus vaccine for free, after the Federal Government secured a major international deal to produce a vaccine frontrunner locally, should trials succeed.

Amid rising pressure to lock in supply of a coronavirus vaccine, the Government has signed an agreement with UK-based drug company AstraZeneca to secure the potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University, if its trials prove successful.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said if the vaccine succeeded, the Government would manufacture it immediately and make it free for all Australians.

"The Oxford vaccine is one of the most advanced and promising in the world, and under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian," he said……

In the evening of Wednesday 19 August 2020….

The Daily Telegraph, 19 August 2020: 

"Drug company AstraZeneca says Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s claim he has reached a deal to secure 25 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine is not true."

Then there is the pharmaceutical company Morrison named....

Corporate Research Project, 4 February 2017:

London-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is the result of the 1999 merger of Britain’s Zeneca, a spinoff of the old Imperial Chemical Industries specializing in cancer medications, and Sweden’s Astra AB, which was best known for the ulcer and heartburn medication Prilosec. Since that deal, the combined company has been embroiled in numerous controversies over illegal marketing, product safety, anticompetitive behavior and tax avoidance. 

Advertising and Marketing Controversies 

In 2003 federal officials announced that AstraZeneca had pleaded guilty to criminal and civil charges relating to the illegal marketing of the prostate cancer drug Zoladex. The company agreed to pay $355 million, consisting of $64 million in criminal fines, a $266 million settlement of civil False Claims Act charges, and a $25 million settlement of fraud charges relating to state Medicaid programs. AstraZeneca, which agreed to enter into a corporate integrity agreement with the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, had been accused of giving illegal financial inducements such as grants and honoraria to physicians.

In 2004 a coalition of consumer groups filed suit against AstraZeneca in a California state court, arguing that advertising for the company’s acid reflux drug Nexium misled consumers into thinking that it was superior to AstraZeneca’s Prilosec. The company had introduced Nexium to replace Prilosec as the latter drug was losing its patent protection. The case, along with a related one filed in Massachusetts, is pending

Also in 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that AstraZeneca’s full-page newspaper advertisements defending the safety of its Crestor cholesterol medication were “false and misleading.” The warning letter sent by the agency to AstraZeneca took issue not only with what the company said about the drug but also the way it represented the FDA’s position on Crestor. 

In 2010 the U.S. Justice Department announced that AstraZeneca would pay $520 million to resolve allegations that it illegally marketed its anti-psychotic drug Seroquel for uses not approved as safe and effective by the FDA. Under the terms of the settlement, $302 million of the total was to go to the federal government and $218 million to state Medicaid programs. Among other things, the company was accused of having paid doctors to give speeches and publish articles (ghostwritten by the company) promoting those unapproved uses. AstraZeneca agreed to sign a corporate integrity agreement regarding its future behavior. In 2011 AstraZeneca settled a related Seroquel case brought by state governments by agreeing to pay another $69 million. 

Product Safety 

In 2002 AstraZeneca said it would put a more conspicuous warning label on its lung cancer drug Iressa after several patients in Japan suffered pneumonia and some died. 

In 2003 researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago released the results of research concluding that AstraZeneca’s Seroquel and two other schizophrenia drugs made by other companies created an elevated risk for diabetes. Subsequently, more than 25,000 lawsuits were filed against the company. In 2010 the company said it would pay a total of $198 million to settle those cases. That same year, the UK’s Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority found that AstraZeneca had failed to adequately describe the risks of Seroquel in an advertisement for the drug in a medical journal. 

In 2004 the watchdog group Public Citizen urged the federal government to ban AstraZeneca’s new cholesterol drug Crestor because of evidence linking it to the life-threatening muscle condition rhabdomyolysis. Noting that the company had not submitted timely reports to the FDA on some two dozen serious adverse reactions to Crestor, Public Citizen also called for a criminal investigation of the company. A 2005 study performed at Tufts University found that Crestor users had more serious side effects than those taking other cholesterol drugs. 

Also in 2004, an FDA review of AstraZeneca’s new blood thinner Exanta questioned the safety and effectiveness of the drug.

Pricing and Anticompetitive Behavior

......In 2003 the European Commission accused AstraZeneca of misusing patent rules to shield its ulcer drug Losec (Prilosec in the United States) from generic competitors. The company was charged with having misstated the year the drug was introduced in order to make it eligible for an extension of its exclusivity rights. In 2005 the commission fined AstraZeneca 60 million euros, a penalty which was upheld by the European Court of Justice in 2012.

In 2007 a federal judge ruled in a national class action case that AstraZeneca and two other companies had to pay damages in connection with overcharging Medicare and private insurance companies. The judge singled out AstraZeneca for acting “unfairly and deceptively” in its pricing of prostate cancer drug Zoladex. AstraZeneca was later hit with a $12.9 million judgment. In 2010 AstraZeneca agreed to pay $103 million to settle a national lawsuit accusing the company of overcharging for Zoladex and Pulmicort Respules asthma medication.

In 2009 AstraZeneca was one of four drug companies that entered into a settlement agreement under which they agreed to pay a total of $124 million to settle charges that they violated the federal False Claims Act by failing to provide required rebates to state Medicaid programs. AstraZeneca’s share of the total settlement amount was $2.6 million.....

Read the full history of this company's behaviour here.