Pharmaceuticals, Corporate Crime and Public Health

Pharmaceuticals, Corporate Crime and Public Health

Graham Dukes, John Braithwaite and J. P. Moloney

The pharmaceutical industry exists to serve the community, but over the years it has engaged massively in corporate crime, with the public footing the bill. This readable study by experts in medicine, law, criminology and public health documents the problems, ranging from false advertising and counterfeiting to corruption waste and overpricing, with unacceptable pressures on doctors, politicians, patients and the media. Uniquely, the book goes on to present a realistic and worldwide solution for the future, with positive policies encouraging honest dealing as well as partial privatization of enforcement and greater emphasis on creative research to develop the medicines that society needs most.

Chapter 7: A criminological perspective on a worsening crisis

Graham Dukes, John Braithwaite and J. P. Moloney

Subjects: law - academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical law, health law, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


In opening Part III of this volume, the present chapter provides an overview of ten themes and patterns that came to the fore in Part II. It then takes these as a foundation for a distinctively criminological perspective on the problems surrounding the pharmaceutical industry. Chapter 8 goes on to examine the case for and against criminal enforcement as an element in an integrated reform strategy. Criminalization, we argue, can be overused, and even where there is a case for criminalizing a particular type of wrongdoing, it is often better to appeal to the ethics of the industry as a tool for righting wrongs than to incarcerate felons. The argument of Chapters 8 and 9 is that by resisting the temptation to crowd out corporate ethics with excessive criminalization, we can actually be more effective in reducing corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry. Chapter 10 argues for a partial privatization of enforcement and for restorative justice dialogue between industry and its critics as ingredients of change. Finally, Chapter 11 argues that nothing less than a new capitalism and a new drug diplomacy are needed. Corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry can have a catalytic role in helping us to glimpse something of a largely unpredictable future. This book identifies many and various kinds of abuses by the pharmaceutical industry. A very large web of disparate complementary controls and supports is needed in response. We argue, with many illustrations, for a wide plurality of criminological and non-criminological strategies to control corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry.

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