“Acceptable” levels of risk?
Dr. John Patterson, executive vice president for product strategy,
licensing, and business development at AstraZenecca (UK) stated that “the
public did not understand what acceptable levels of risk were”. (1) So
who should act as God and make that decision on behalf of the uninformed
and unsuspecting patient?
Given the iatrogenic statistics (as far as they are known) it is
surprising that Patterson would venture into this minefield. Even so,
the arrogance and the self-serving argument is not new. It is an argument
that judges all patients to be idiots, and demonstrates with clarity the
reason why the inquiry into the pharmaceutical industry’s influence is
No wonder so many have turned their backs on medicine in favour of
1. ”Drug company chiefs accept the need for more openness” BMJ 22
Competing interests: No competing interests