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15 Dirty Big Pharma Tricks

Drug companies represent the nation's third most profitable business sector in the U.S. How do they do that? At least in part by cheating the government, misrepresenting science, and bribing doctors.

Writing in AlterNet, Martha Rosenberg lists 15 ways the drug companies lie, break the law, or risk your health for profit. Here are a few of them:

1. Astroturf Patients

They create fake patient advocacy groups to lobby for drug company interests. These front groups often push the FDA to approve an expensive drug that has acceptable, cheaper alternatives.

2. Cheating the Government

Drug companies are a top defrauder of the federal government. They've been hit with $14.8 billion in wrongdoing settlements in the last five years -- but that's still cheaper than going about things the legal way.

3. Dangerous Trials

Presiding over clinical trials can make a doctor thousands per patient -- and sometimes they compromise patient safety just to get at that money.

4. Deceptive Trials

Trials that only determine that a drug is "not worse" than another one can skew results. And some research deliberately skewed, with results decided upon before the trial is ever conducted.

5. Overseas Adventurism

Drug companies are increasingly eyeing poorer countries for new markets and cheaper manufacturing, and they also eye them for cheaper clinical trials -- often cheaper because they have less safety oversight.

To read the other ways in which the drug companies rip you off, click on the link below.

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