Saturday, October 25, 2008

Transparency International - Corruption in the pharmaceutical industry

Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption founded in 1993, is trying hard to implement anti-corruption reforms worldwide and claims that "corruption hurts everyone".
Of course they have to focus on medicine and on this page there are some data on the corruption in the pharmaceutical industry and health.

This is one of their texts:

Corruption in the pharmaceutical industry

"In addition to cases of bribery and corruption discussed in the sub-page on procurement of medicines (typically involving drugs and medical equipment manufacturers as the bribe payers and government officials or hospital administrators as the recipients) there are other ways in which the pharmaceutical sector might have a corrosive influence on the drugs and medical equipment market.

One of the reasons why the sector is vulnerable to corruption is that it is heavily regulated. Heavily regulation is essential to safeguard the population against sub-standard drugs and unfairly priced goods. But there is a second central reason why governments regulate the pharmaceutical market: to ensure that industrial policies strengthen economic competitiveness of the pharmaceutical sector and improve innovation and efficiency. These two objectives can sometimes lie at cross-purposes. If regulators are subject to pressure from commercial groups, health objectives can be compromised. Generous political campaign donations and lobbying expenditures by pharmaceutical companies are examples of such pressures.

The relationship between drugs companies and physicians is also vulnerable to corruption. Doctors may be offered commissions for prescribing a particular drug or a drug from a particular company. Because this practice is illegal in most countries, companies may employ underhand methods to disguise such kickbacks. The aggressive promotion of medicines, the sheer volume of information that is received in its many forms by prescribers and the use of patient groups through which to generate demand for prescription drugs, all contribute to the inappropriate prescription of medicines. In the United States some US$ 16 billion is spent annually by pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology industries on marketing to physicians.

The issue of unethical pharmaceutical marketing practice has received a great deal of attention in recent years, prompting many doctors associations, pharmaceutical industry associations and individual corporations to engage with the issue. Many have passed codes of conduct and ethical guidelines for the marketing of pharmaceuticals; but if not monitored and enforced, their impact will be limited.

Another form of corruption threatening the pharmaceutical industry occurs during clinical trials. Doctors are often paid by pharmaceutical companies to recruit patients for clinical trials or sit on clinical trial boards while simultaneously on the pay role of the manufacturing company in question. Many research institutions and universities have institutional review boards or research ethics committees responsible for reporting procedures and policies regarding conflicts of interest. Problems arise as to who will monitor the conflicts of interest and what, if any, sanction doctors will receive for failing to disclose conflicts of interest. On a national level, oversight becomes even more problematic. Moreover, there is debate over whether disclosure is sufficient: should researchers be allowed to conduct research for companies in which they have a financial interest?"

It's amazing how hard it's to fight corruption and it's funny that the word "corruption" is not used when dealing with pharmaceutical industry issues. The real name for what is going on is corruption.

Ten most corrupt leaders
Name Position Estimates of funds allegedly embezzled
(in U.S. $)
1. Mohamed Suharto President of Indonesia (1967–1998) $15 to 35 billion
2. Ferdinand Marcos President of the Philippines (1972–1986) 5 to 10 billion
3. Mobutu Sese Seko President of Zaire (1965–1997) 5 billion
4. Sani Abacha President of Nigeria (1993–1998) 2 to 5 billion
5. Slobodan Milosevic President of Serbia/Yugoslavia (1989–2000) 1 billion
6. Jean-Claude Duvalier President of Haiti (1971–1986) 300 to 800 million
7. Alberto Fujimori President of Peru (1990–2000) 600 million
8. Pavlo Lazarenko Prime Minister of Ukraine (1996–1997) 114 to 200 million
9. Arnoldo Alemán President of Nicaragua (1997–2002) 100 million
10. Joseph Estrada President of the Philippines (1998–2001) 78 to 80 million
Source Transparency International - 2004


Stan said...

Dear Ana:

Corruption in the Psychiatric and pharmaceutical industry! No way! I just can't believe this is true {Laughing}. What's next? Major University's Medical Programs accepting Drug money and not reporting it while doing a government funded trial or study for that same said drug! Someone should actually investigate this whole mess if it's really happening {Smirk}.

Dismayed, Shocked, and Disappointed;

Ana said...


You know what?
I believe these people most be vegetarians! This is all bullshit. They want to heal depression with plants and herbs and bipolarity with protein.
They want to put in disbelief our drugs.
Can you imagine life without SSRIs antipsychotics and benzos?
It would be total insanity!
As a Biederman follower I will have to take some measures.
He and Harvard don't deserve to be put at the same level as Alberto Fujimori.
That takes the bake. (I just hope this expression I've learned when I was a teenager is still being used. I still remember when I came across with the word...
handkerchief. LOL
It was the first big and strong word I had ever seen.
Got very disappointed knowing what it means.

Stan said...

Dear Ana:

It’s not rocket science to realize corruption is everywhere. But what being done about is what's appalling. Do you see any new laws or any of these {excuse my French"} fucking assholes going to prison?
NO! Because with no doubt Big Pharmaceutical has our government completely in their pocket and controlled; just like the Universities, research, and the Doctors, and especially the Democratic Party and its socialist medical agenda.
Watch very carefully what happens to Senator Grassley over the next few months to a year! They will gather up their dirt making machine and bury him like a gutted spring pig.
You think we have it bad now! Just wait and see what the next four years brings. Obama is completely bought and paid for by Big Pharmaceutical (his nationalized medicine program is just a nice way of saying I’m giving a green light to big pharmaceutical to do whatever they want without repercussions; this is why he is behind tort reform to limit financial and criminal liability for the pharmaceutical industry).

We are on a path that History will record as the greatest travesty to be perpetrated upon a population buy corporation’s man has ever known. And our government will just stand by and watch it happen.

And this is just the tip of the ice berg! we are all riding on the Titanic!


Ana said...

You're right Stan.
Unfortunately something is quite right with Stan!:)
The corruption of Pharmas is global.
Yes. This will be recognized as the dark ages of medicine.
Unfortunately I'll not be alive to read this chapter of "History of Psychiatry" chapter 9..... "When people got iatrogenic diseases because of corruption."