Washington, DC – Today, watchdog group Accountable Pharma called on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the sale by Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla of 132,506 shares of Pfizer stock, worth $5.6 million, that came after his company announced positive news about their COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy that sent shares soaring. Following the vaccine announcement but before the news of the CEO’s stock sale emerged, Accountable Pharma called for Pfizer to implement a freeze on the sale of stocks and options by executives and directors to prevent exactly this kind of insider profiteering off of initial positive news that we’ve seen across the industry over the last few months.
“This appears to be another example of a shameless pump-and-dump and egregious pandemic profiteering that, if nothing else, is a terrible look for a drug industry that is desperately trying to rehabilitate its image,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Accountable Pharma. “We called on Pfizer to freeze all insider sales for exactly this reason, and now we’re calling on the SEC to investigate these trades to determine if these executives’ trading plans were inappropriately adjusted or if their options were exercised based on inside information.”
In September, Accountable Pharma released a report revealing that top executives and directors at five top drug companies receiving billions of taxpayer dollars through Operation Warp Speed have made more than $145 million cashing out their stock options between the launch of Operation Warp Speed on May 15th and the end of August 2020.