Scientific Misconduct, the Pharmaceutical Industry, and the Tragedy of Institutions
Cohen-Kohler, Jillian Clare
Esmail, Laura C.
Medicine and Law: The World Association for Medical Law 2007 September; 26(3): 431-446
This paper examines how current legislative and regulatory models do not adequately govern the pharmaceutical industry towards ethical scientific conduct. In the context of a highly profit-driven industry, governments need to ensure ethical and legal standards are not only in place for companies but that they are enforceable. We demonstrate with examples from both industrialized and developing countries how without sufficient controls, there is a risk that corporate behaviour will transgress ethical boundaries. We submit that there is a critical need for urgent drug regulatory reform. There must be robust regulatory structures in place which enforce corporate governance mechanisms to ensure that pharmaceutical companies maintain ethical standards in drug research and development and the marketing of pharmaceuticals. What is also needed is for the pharmaceutical industry to adopt authentic "corporate social responsibility" policies as current policies and practices are insufficient.
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