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Articles on Big Pharma

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The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada sits ready for use at The Michener Institute in Toronto in mid-December 2020, less than a year from when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Big Pharma’s COVID-19 reputation boost may not last — here’s why

If Big Pharma wants to achieve the ultimate image makeover, it must capitalize on the current public good will about its COVID-19 vaccines by prioritizing socially responsible practices.
Until the late 19th century, patenting medicines was considered by some as controversial and even unethical. S. Vannini/De Agostini Editorial via Getty Images

The US drug industry used to oppose patents – what changed?

The pharmaceutical industry overall has been deeply opposed to waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents, but a historian of the industry explains that drug companies once opposed patents altogether.
A woman who said she’s a medical worker who works directly with COVID-19 patients is stopped by police outside of the public Rebagliati Hospital in Lima, Peru, in February 2021. She complained that some people getting vaccinated don’t work directly with COVID-19 patients. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Peru’s COVID-19 vaccine scandal shows the shady deals made with pharma companies

A vaccination queue-jumping scandal in Peru has caused a massive uproar in the South American country. It could also be a wake-up call for all nations.
The pharmaceutical industry opposes the suspension of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and no pharma companies have yet contributed to the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool. (Shutterstock)

Can a pharma company change? Profit, not altruism, motivates COVID-19 vaccine development

We should applaud drug companies for developing COVID-19 vaccines in record time, but let’s not be under any illusion about the profits that are motivating them.
Over 90 per cent of Canadian doctors see pharmaceutical sales representatives. (Shutterstock)

Guidelines governing Canadian doctors’ relationships with pharma companies under review

Patients have a stake in the relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies, so the CMA’s current review of its guidelines for doctor/pharma interactions is everybody’s business.
Production limits mean that not everyone can get access to a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s developed.. GIPhotoStock/Cultura via Getty Images

Video: Who should get a COVID-19 vaccine first?

A bioethicist explains a recent report that recommends how to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine equitably.
The Goop Lab launches Jan. 24, 2020: it will likely be full of magical thinking and unproven health stories — making it a huge conflict of interest for Gwyneth Paltrow. (Shutterstock)

Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Goop Lab is an infomercial for her pseudoscience business

Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Netflix series, The Goop Lab, raises serious questions about the spread of health misinformation as well as the conflict of interest the show represents.
Doctors’ prescribing habits are influenced by drug reps and other industry marketing. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Time to end drug company distortion of medical evidence

Too often, pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers exert influence in how their products are tested in the research phase and recommended in the clinic.
When drug companies and drug regulators, such as Health Canada, sit down together at “pre-submission meetings” this may have a negative impact on public health. (Shutterstock)

Health Canada and Big Pharma: Too close for comfort

Drug companies have a job to do and so does Health Canada. When the relationship becomes murky, the public are at risk.

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