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Friday, 9 September 2011

Big Pharma companies - top list for government fraud

The Health Sciences Institute (HSI) have recently announced that Big Pharma companies are up to a variety of "underhand fraudulent activities". Their newsletter said that in a recent 'Public Citizen' report, in the US, it was revealed that drug companies have drawn False Claims Act penalties of nearly $20 billion - the vast majority occurring in the last five years. 

They said that the biggest culprit was Pfizer, who had to pay up a settlement of more than $2 billion for one infraction, the illegal marketing of Bextra, their now-defunct painkiller.

However, three other companies joined Pfizer in what HSI described as 'the elite upper echelon of the Big Pharma Fraud Club', which paid out a combined $10.5 billion in in fines over just 20 years.

* Eli Lilly
* GlaxoSmithKline
* Schering-Plough. 

Apparently, one common swindle involved Big Pharma overcharging cash-strapped state funded pharmaceutical suppliers as much as 12 TIMES the cost of a drug. 

Yet given the wealth of Big Pharma companies, these financial penalties are relatively small. The risk of getting caught is soon repaid by the huge level of drug company profits. So big are these profits, raising the fines substantially will probably not act as a deterrent against fraud of this kind.

HSI suggest that Big Pharma fraud, in all its manifestations, should be dealt with through criminal law because, as it says, these practices put everyone at risk - but 'does a great job of boosting drug company profits.

But in the name of profit, Big Pharma CEOs, and senior executives, have been putting us all at risk long enough. And as HSI say, what they are doing is criminal - and they get off by writing relatively small cheques from the company's account.

So if any reader is still taking pharmaceutical drugs, please consider. Are you taking them for your health? Or in order to boost the profits of wealthy drug companies?