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Drug Companies Target Poorer Nations During Downturn

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PETARE, Venezuela -- Julio Rodriguez was on a sales call at a clinic in this slum overlooking Caracas recently when he heard four gunshots go off nearby.

It was business as usual for Mr. Rodriguez. As a representative in Venezuela for U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., his sales route takes him through one of Latin America's most dangerous neighborhoods. To avoid attracting attention, he wears a polo shirt with a red logo, the color worn by supporters of President Hugo Chavez.

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