A bogus press release purportedly from Pfizer that fooled the Washington Post on March 31 led to a retraction by the paper and legal threat by the drugmaker.
The release, which claimed the Pfizer would "cease routine price increases," used the name of a Pfizer spokesman and the domain pfizerinternational.com, which is not controlled by the drug company. A reporter for the Washington Post called the number on the release and left a message before publishing an item on the Post website based on the release.
"A false press release related to drug pricing and linking to a fake web site was anonymously issued earlier today," Pfizer said that a false release related to drug pricing and linked to a fake website was disseminated on March 31. "Pfizer is investigating this matter and evaluating its legal options against the parties responsible," the company said. "Pfizer is committed to engaging in an honest discussion and real dialogue about the issues that matter to patients."
The source of the release has not been publicly identified.
The Post retracted its story the same day.