Big Pharma: Cutting Corners, Risking Lives

Eli Lilly & Co. Corporate Center. Image credit: Momoneymoproblemz / Wikimedia Commons

Recently, nine of the biotech and pharmaceutical companies working on vaccines for COVID-19 pledged that they’ll only ask the FDA for approval when the vaccines they’re working on are proven to be safe and effective. This is clearly a response to the level of fear the public has regarding the safety of the vaccines themselves and the way that they’re being produced.

But if we look at the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, there’s a trend to cut corners, get drugs approved as quickly as possible, and settle any lawsuits that come up for patients that have been harmed by a drug. It saves the pharmaceutical companies a lot of money, and is more efficient than putting more research time into their products. The quicker a drug can get approved, the quicker profits begin rolling in. 

One such example of this can be found in the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company. Over the years, Lilly has made billions of dollars off of drugs and therapies, some of which ended up hurting a lot of people. For example, their antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, which was approved in 1996 and has made Lilly well over $60 billion, was found to cause patients to develop diabetes or other metabolic disorders. This was because Lilly found it more profitable to keep doctors in the dark about risk factors and marketed this drug to be used in children and the elderly, when the FDA approval states it may only be prescribed to a specific age group. This is far from an isolated incident.

So, what makes us believe these companies will suddenly change their act, and prioritize the health and safety of patients over profits? Maybe because we’re in a global pandemic?

Let’s face it, these companies are treating this pandemic as another get rich quick scheme, and allowing human lives to be in jeopardy. They’re going to continue to lie, cheat, and steal if that’s what gets them even greater profits.

We deserve safe and effective medications, drugs, therapies and vaccines that aren’t produced for profit.