Today, the goals of pharmaceutical policy and medical practice are often undermined due to institutional corruption — that is, widespread or systemic practices, usually legal, that undermine an institution’s objectives or integrity. We will see that the pharmaceutical industry’s own purposes are often undermined. In addition, pharmaceutical industry funding of election campaigns and lobbying skews the legislative process that sets pharmaceutical policy. Moreover, certain practices have corrupted medical research, the production of medical knowledge, the practice of medicine, drug safety, and the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of pharmaceutical marketing. As a result, practitioners may think they are using reliable information to engage in sound medical practice while actually relying on misleading information and therefore prescribe drugs that are unnecessary or harmful to patients, or more costly than equivalent medications. At the same time, patients and the public may believe that patient advocacy organizations effectively represent their interests while these organizations actually neglect their interests.
Harvard University Articles:
The Edmond J. Safra Center put together 16 articles that investigate the corruption of pharmaceutical policy, each taking a different look at the sources of corruption, how it occurs and what is corrupted. The articles address five topics:
- systemic problems,
- medical research,
- medical knowledge and practice,
- and patient advocacy organizations.