Thursday, September 12, 2013

Is the pharmaceutical industry like the mafia?

Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ and signer of the Markingson petition, writes:

"Many of those who read this book (Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime) will ask if Peter has over-reached himself in suggesting that the activities of the drug industry amount to organised crime. The characteristics of organised crime, racketeering, is defined in US law as the act of engaging repeatedly in certain types of offence, including extortion, fraud, federal drug offences, bribery, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, obstruction of law enforcement, tampering with witnesses, and political corruption. Peter produces evidence, most of it detailed, to support his case that pharmaceutical companies are guilty of most of these offences."

"And he is not the first to compare the industry with the Mafia or mob. He quotes a former vice-president of Pfizer, who has said:

'It is scary how many similarities there are between this industry and the mob. The mob makes obscene amounts of money, as does this industry. The side effects of organized crime are killings and deaths, and the side effects are the same in this industry. The mob bribes politicians and others, and so does the drug industry …'

Read the rest here.

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