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 11: A new capitalism: A new drug diplomacy

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


We have brought a criminological perspective to the study of the pharmaceutical industry. We do not, however, portray criminal law as a day-to-day driver of reform. Even a massive dose of criminal deterrence cannot begin to solve the problems of the pharmaceutical industry and its relationship to society. Rather we see criminal enforcement as having a role to play as a catalyst of transformation for the pharmaceutical industry in moments of crisis, national or global. As we have argued in Chapters 8 and 9, criminal enforcement can spark transformation provided that it is integrated into webs of networked escalation up pyramids of supports and sanctions. Our final chapter moves that analysis up a notch. In it we introduce a broader view of the key supports for transformation that might be mobilized in moments of crisis affecting the pharmaceutical industry. First, we identify the players who have an interest in abandoning the old pattern of capitalism within the pharmaceutical industry in favour of new business models that can forge an innovative new capitalism. After considering the new venture capitalists of that new capitalism, we then consider who might be the diplomats of global drug diplomacy who can build political support for reform. Joseph Schumpeter argued that capitalist development is about “creative destruction” of old business models by new ones.

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