Halyard Health is an American manufacturer of surgical gowns that’s the subject of an Anderson Cooper 60 Minutes investigation. The company is facing accusations that it knowingly provided defective surgical gowns — its MICROCOOL surgical gown brand — to US health care workers during the most recent Ebola crisis. (Surgical gowns must be impermeable, so blood containing dangerous viruses like Ebola cannot seep through them.) On 60 Minutes, Cooper examines the allegations, which are supported by testimony from Bernard Vezeau. Vezeau was Halyard’s global strategic marketing director for the MICROCOOL brand.
Bernard Vezeau is the name of one of the whistleblowers in the qui tam suit against pharma giant Pfizer. 2paragraphs asked Halyard Health spokesperson Edward Domansky whether the man interviewed by 60 Minutes in the Halyard case was the same Bernard Vezeau. Domansky confirmed, “To the best of our knowledge, it is the same Bernard Vezeau who also was involved in the Pfizer litigation.” If that’s correct, give Halyard credit for having the confidence to hire a former healthcare whistleblower — or knock the company for being not very good at due diligence. In 2005, Bernard Vezeau and fellow former Pfizer marketing manager Catherine Brown alleged that Pfizer Inc. “marketed anti-fungal medication Vfend for off-label use that put patients at risk and caused the submission of millions of dollars in claims to government programs.” The qui tam case is U.S. v. Pfizer Inc., case number 2:05-cv-06795, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7pm on CBS.