Freelance Contribution from Nick Johns

The corruption of Big Pharma are well known. But these facts demonstrate just how insidious their influence is.

  • In the first quarter of 2017 alone, the pharmaceutical and health products industry spent a total of $78 million in lobbying, a $10 million increase from the same time period in 2016.
  • The 21st Century Cures Act loosened regulation of the approval process for drugs and medical devices. Critics of the bill including Public Health Citizen’s Research Group believe the Cures Act will “endanger public safety” because it weakens FDA standards.
  • Pradaxa Manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim has faced thousands of lawsuits because of the internal bleeding side effects and reached a $650 million settlement in 2014 to resolve roughly 4,000 claims.
  • Larger companies have employed “Pay-for-Delay” agreements, offering patent settlements to generic drug manufacturers in order to delay or block the release of lower-cost, generic versions of medicine.
  • The Prescription Drug User Fee Act passed in 1992 requires the FDA to answer drug applications within 10 months of receiving them. It has been argued that the shortened timeframe can negatively impact drug safety.

For more Big Pharma facts, read an article on the 21st Century Cures Act (how lobbying dollars mean more than patient safety), and an article on one pharmaceutical company’s major contribution to the opioid epidemic.

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