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The corruption of drug research and the power of marketing: radical reforms are needed

Dr. Peter C. Gøtzsche, Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, Department 7112, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen / Denmark

 

Corporate crime is more common in the drug industry than in other industries and corruption is widespread. Bribery of doctors is often indirect, in the form of excessive payments for services, or even for services not rendered, or as fees for starting patients on expensive drugs as part of fake studies. Direct corruption with kickbacks and other marketing fraud are also prevalent. The scientific integrity of academic researchers is systematically being suppressed, the literature on drugs is seriously distorted through flawed analyses, selective publication of trials and data and ghost authorship, and lethal harms of drugs are being withheld from public scrutiny, and sometimes also from the drug regulatory agencies.

 

The use of violence against independent scientists who have identified lethal harms of drugs is common and involves intimidation, fear, threats, firing, litigation, unfoundded accusations of scientific misconduct and other attempts at defamation and destruction of research careers. The drug regulatory system is unable to protect patients against lethal harms of drugs. Radical reforms are needed to protect patients against being exploited for monetary gains by drug firms and doctors, and against being exposed to lethal harms of drugs.

 

 
Handout SGIM 2008
 
27.06.2008 - dde
 



 
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