Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Don’t just blame big pharma

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 17 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4825
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

GlaxoSmithKline has been fined $3bn (£1.9bn; €2.5bn)1—this follows other recent fines of drug companies: Merck,2 AstraZeneca,3 Johnson and Johnson,4 and Pfizer,5 reflecting a cultural problem across the industry, now allegedly all in the past. These fines come after decades of claims of manipulation of research, suppression of data, off-label promotion, excessive hospitality (gifts in all but name), expert panels paid bloated fees (educational mercenaries), withdrawal of dangerous drugs, disease mongering, payments made to advisory groups and charities, constant political …

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