Pharmaceuticals, Corporate Crime and Public Health
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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.
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Chapter 5: Corruption, counterfeiting and fraud

Graham Dukes, John Braithwaite and J. P. Moloney

Extract

Corruption, counterfeiting and fraud deserve to be discussed alongside one another. In each the emphasis is different, but they constitute a series of practices which overlap and commonly go hand in hand. In either situation the perpetrator is making a deliberate attempt to evade the rules of conduct that society has put in place in order to ensure the honest governance of a complex field. Medicinal care is one of those areas of human activity in which the temptation to break the rules for the sake of enrichment is particularly strong. Medicines are physically small items that can readily slip through whatever controls on their movement exist; they are goods with a high unit value, meaning that even a little criminal activity can bring a substantial reward; they are also, when viewed superficially, simple items which, unlike a computer or a motor car, can easily be counterfeited; above all they are wanted because they are vital and even life-saving in some situations and lusted for illogically in others. Perhaps above all a temptation to misbehave arises because medicines are the subject of opposed pressures, where massive commercial ambition may find itself thwarted on its impatient way to the market by conscientious professionals and by the exponents of rules and regulations. The commercial urge to circumvent what may seem to some minds to be tiresome obstacles to enterprise will for some prove overwhelming.

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