Saturday, August 29, 2009
What's wrong with the pharmaceutical industry going bust?
Sarah Boseley has written a Guardian article about a Compass report "A bitter pill to swallow". The subtitle of the report is "Drugs for people, not just for profit".
The report tends to blame the neo-liberal market economics of Thatcher and Reagan for "why the drug companies are getting away with it". There are political changes that could be made, such as that all phase 3 trials be carried out independent from the industry. As the report says, this could be funded through an industry levy as initially put forward by John Abraham and Helen Lawton Smith in their book Regulation of the Pharmaceutical Industry. Doctors' education needs to be through public funding rather than relying on the pharmaceutical industry.
However, things won't really change until it's recognised how much doctors are merely agents of the pharmaceutical industry, rather than independent practitioners in the interests of patients.