Drug Company Ethics

June 6, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 22
Are drug prices kept unfairly high?
By David Hatch

Introduction

Activists protest the high price of drugs outside GlaxoSmithKline's Philadelphia headquarters, on Feb. 20, 2003.  (Getty Images/Don Murray)
Activists protest the high price of drugs outside GlaxoSmithKline's Philadelphia headquarters, on Feb. 20, 2003. (Getty Images/Don Murray)

Questions about the business practices of the pharmaceutical industry are growing along with its unprecedented profits. Critics say drugmakers put profit margins before human needs and sometimes jeopardize public safety. Consumer advocates and federal regulators complain about skyrocketing drug prices, misleading ads and cutthroat litigation. They also accuse the industry of buying influence in Washington to keep legislators, regulators and low-priced competitors at bay. The drug companies insist the criticism is overblown and say the proof of strong competition in the industry can be seen in the billions of dollars companies spend each year developing new products as well as the meteoric rise in generic drugs. Now the national spotlight on drugmakers is intensifying as lawmakers debate Medicare reform.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Pharmaceuticals
May 20, 2016  Prescription Drug Costs
Oct. 11, 2013  Regulating Pharmaceuticals
Oct. 09, 2009  Medication Abuse
Mar. 11, 2005  Drug Safety
Jun. 06, 2003  Drug Company Ethics
Sep. 03, 1999  Drugmakers Under Siege
Jul. 17, 1992  Prescription Drug Prices
Nov. 25, 1959  High Price of Drugs
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