Even with all the new regulations in place pharmaceutical firms around the world continue to face scrutiny for unethical behaviour. In his highly acclaimed book “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare” (2013), Danish medical researcher Peter C. Gøtzsche gives many recent examples of how major global drug companies bribed doctors, manipulated studies, threatened editors of professional journals and concealed evidence about deadly side effects. Gøtzsche says the “main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don’t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs.”
Among other things he advocates for major changes in the approval procedures for new medications. Companies for examples shouldn’t be allowed to conduct their own clinical trials, those should be done by universities instead.
The thalidomide drug scandal should serve as a cautionary tale that we all need to be extremely vigilant with all drugs in order that the least harm comes to the innocent people taking the drugs. Perhaps then and only then will the thalidomide drug scandal have some validity for the thousands of thalidomiders and their families who have suffered so greatly for over half a century.
“You know, they, they killed 5,000 children, yeah? They made another 5,000 children’s lives miserable.
They make the life of 10,000 parents awful, yeah? They are responsible, and they should pay for it.”
~ Niko von Glasow, in an excerpt from the film NO LIMITS by John Zaritsky