American Drugmaker Blasted For Unethical Practices

If you want a blatant example of how the mega-pharmaceuticals dispense their money freely to buy influence, you'll want to read this interesting Chicago Tribune piece about the suspension of Abbott Laboratories from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry for doling out perks two years ago, including some outrageous ones that go beyond the pale.

Nevertheless, they don't surprise me one bit. Among them:

  • Entertaining 60 health professionals at a dog track.
  • Purchasing tickets for Wimbleton, the tennis tournament likened by Brits to America's Super Bowl in popularity.
  • Paying for lap dances at gentlemen's clubs.

Sad to say, the association's six-month suspension of Abbott is completely symbolic, because it doesn't restrict sales of the company's products in the UK. And, even though all the Abbott employees who doled out favors and gifts left the company or were fired, you know that's just the tip of the iceberg.

This demonstrates, according to a Public Citizen representative, just how weak voluntary guidelines can be, and at the expense of inflated insurance premiums and taxes that cost you money. A great quote from Public Citizen sums it up best: I wouldn't be happy to be taken care of by a doctor willing to jeopardize the sanctity of his prescribing practices at a lap dance club.

Neither should you...

Chicago Tribune February 11, 2006 Registration Required

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