Prescription Drugs and Corruption

posted in: On Corruption | 0

Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics has an interesting, yet disturbing post on a forthcoming article on institutional Corruption, Pharma and prescription drugs (Light, Lexchin, Darrow (2013): Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2013).

The highlights:

  • There is evidence that about 90 percent of all new drugs approved by the FDA over the past 30 years are little or no more effective for patients than existing drugs.
  • Every week, about 2400 excess deaths occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier.
  • Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death.
  • There is systematic, quantitative evidence that since the industry started making large contributions to the FDA for reviewing its drugs, the FDA has sped up the review process with the result that drugs approved are significantly more likely to cause serious harm, hospitalizations, and deaths.

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