NEW YORK: A critical piece in The New York Times examined the position that Sally Susman, a longtime supporter of President Barack Obama and Pfizer's EVP of corporate affairs, finds herself in after Pfizer said it will buy Allergan in a tax-inversion deal.
The combination will allow New York-based Pfizer to move its headquarters to Ireland to save on taxes.
The Obama administration, among other critics, has said it does not support such deals. In fact, days before the announcement of the acquisition, the Treasury Department issued proposed rules to prevent such tax inversions. The deal reportedly stunned lobbyists.
"Pfizer shot us all in the collective foot," an unnamed source told the Times.
Although Susman declined to be interviewed by the Times, the piece drew from a 2011 profile of Susman in Medical Marketing & Media in which she discussed her work at Pfizer researching public opinion of the drugmaker.
"When he became chief executive in 2010, [Ian] Read asked Ms. Susman to improve the company's image, and Ms. Susman commissioned a series of studies 'to really research what it is the public holds and harbors against the industry so we can address it in a new and fresh way,' Ms. Susman said in 2011. She declined to be interviewed for this article," the Times reported. "’I've been here four years, and I definitely feel the tides shifting,’ Ms. Susman said in the same 2011 interview. She said she found the public's lack of excitement about the industry's scientific advancements frustrating."
Susman has also been tasked with improving the relationship between the company and its customers. Earlier this year, while speaking at PRWeek’s annual conference, she said patients have a deeper relationship with Pfizer than they did in the past.
This story originally appeared on Medical Marketing & Media.