It’s no secret that Big Pharma – the pharmaceutical industry – is, shall we say, less than scrupulous. In recent years, several major drug companies have been caught bribing doctors, fudging research data, and price-gouging patients.
So it’s not surprising that people are wondering whether Big Pharma has any morals at all.
by David Stone
The short answer is no, Big Pharma does not have any recognizable morals. The long answer is also no, but with a lot more words.
Let’s start with the bribery scandal. In 2009, it was revealed that Pfizer, the world’s largest drug company, had paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe its products.
Pfizer also made false claims about the efficacy of its drugs and misled patients about potential side effects. As a result of these revelations, Pfizer was fined a record $2.3 billion by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Pfizer is far from the only drug company to engage in such practices. In 2013, GlaxoSmithKline was fined $3 billion for bribing doctors and misleading consumers about the safety of its products. And in 2014, Johnson & Johnson was fined $2.2 billion for similar offenses.
These cases make it quite clear that Big Pharma does not have any recognizable morals. But what about the argument that drug companies are just trying to make a profit like any other business?
Isn’t it unfair to single them out for criticism?
Is It Capitalism?
The answer to that is yes, it is unfair to single out drug companies for criticism. They should be singled out for praise!
After all, they are doing what every other business tries to do: make a profit. And they’re doing it quite effectively, thanks in part to the fact that they have little or no competition in many markets.
For example, there are only two companies that manufacture insulin, and they both charge exorbitant prices for their products.
So if you want insulin, you have no choice but to pay whatever they’re asking. That’s not capitalism; that’s monopolism.
But even if we accept the argument that drug companies are just trying to make a profitable business, there’s still the question of whether they could operate more ethically.
After all, other businesses don’t bribe doctors or mislead consumers about their products’ safety. So why do drug companies do it?
The answer is simple: because they can get away with it. Drug companies are some of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, and they’ve bought themselves plenty of friends in Congress.
As a result, they’re virtually immune from regulation. So until we see some serious changes in our political system, don’t expect Big Pharma to start acting like a moral company anytime soon.
Conclusion: Does Big Pharma Have Any Morals?
In conclusion, Big Pharma does not have any recognizable morals and is unlikely to acquire any anytime soon. So if you’re looking for a moral beacon in the pharmaceutical industry, you’re going to be disappointed.
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