The New England Journal of Medicine reports this week that GSK has just been fined $3 billion, and that since 2009, drug companies have been fined $11 billion! Wow! Colossal sums, huh? However, it turns out these figures represent only about 10% of annual profits and should probably be considered as just the “cost of doing business” ie these fines won’t change behaviour.
Should we be worried about these crimes and misdemeanors? You bet. However, as Ben Goldacre points out in a Guardian published extract from his upcoming book, “Bad Pharma”, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Of more concern is routine distortion of the evidence base which is manipulated in a variety of ways by those who pay the piper – the drug companies. Read the Guardian article, then answer the following two questions…..
How confident are you that the drug companies act in your best interests?
How confident are you that “evidence based medicine” is based on objective, relevant scientific evidence?