PharmacoEthics Articles

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Drug Corporation Scandals: Fraud, freebies, bribery, etc,

by Ashley Pringle

Although fraud can encompass many activities, in this case we refer to situations in which a drug company defrauds someone, usually the government, out of money. For example, a company may bribe doctors or hospitals to purchase their more expensive drug rather than a cheaper one, or lie on health plan information, telling the government that more drugs were purchased than actually were, and therefore make a greater profit to the detriment of the government and tax payers. The act of giving freebies to doctors is essentially that of a drug company bribing a doctor with gifts or money in order to get the doctor to prescribe their drug rather than a competing one, creating a drug market in which drugs may not be prescribed on a basis of need, but on a basis of coercion and other non-medical influences. These practices have become more common as corporations attempt to gain an edge in the competitive drug market, sometimes at the expense of quality of treatment.


 

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