It’s not an isolated case.  The connections and vested interest in pharmaceuticals is widespread: in the media, government, science, advisory and regulatory bodies, academia…even consumer advocacy groups.  When you start finding the connections and joining the dots you stop trusting the spin. 



google drug co and words

Corporate citizen!  There’s a concept so loaded with double-speak it could serve as the poster child for public relations spin.  I stumbled the term when Jane Burgermeister posted an brief entry about Novartis profiting from swine flu jab while the government pays for advertising and distribution costs and I found this little gem in the comments section:

“To improve patient health and well-being, Novartis medicines must have the complete confidence of those who prescribe and use them. As a corporate citizen, we are committed to this goal.”…

When the ache in my side had subsided I took a look at the site.  It is beautifully produced.  Someone has obviously been very well paid to elucidate the “four pillars of corporate citizenship”, espousing their attention to patient safety, people and communities, human rights, ethical marketing practices and environmental care.

It was all very reassuring.  Even with my die-hard cynicism about the pharmaceutical industry I momentarily found myself wondering if this was some sort of anomaly and I’d happened to stumbled upon the world’s first ethical pharmaceutical company. Thankfully an internal warning system flashes caution alarms should I entertain such naive thoughts.  It directed me to a google search instead.

Trying typing “novartis sued” into the search engine. Read the rest of this entry »