Intended for healthcare professionals


Top drug companies are making drugs more accessible but are also guilty of corruption, report says

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 17 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6834
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Nearly all of the 20 largest global drug companies have been involved in unethical practices such as bribery or corruption in the past two years, a report has found.

The Access to Medicines Index is a biennial audit of drug companies’ progress on developing drugs for the world’s poor. The 2014 report found that 18 of the 20 largest companies had been found guilty of breaches in ethical marketing, bribery or corruption standards, or competition laws, despite the fact that all 20 of the companies have committed to follow at least a minimum code of practice for ethical marketing, all have codes of conduct governing bribery and corruption, and three quarters audit their codes.1

The breaches included paying or inappropriately incentivising doctors to prescribe their products, colluding to delay market entry …

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