Recently, The New York Times in a series of reports has alerted the world to many of the ethical difficulties in marketing drugs globally. The titles of the articles alone hint at many of the issues: “Drug Research in China Falls Under a Cloud”; “Glaxo Says Executives May Have Broken Chinese Law”; “For Global Drug Manufacturers, China Becomes a Perilous Market”.
Moreover, phrases used contextually in the articles are even more alarming: “Glaxo’s problems may go beyond the sales practices that are currently at the center of a bribery and corruption scandal”; “the company fired the head of research and development in China after discovering that an article he helped write in the journal Nature Medicine contained misrepresented data”; “[research] supervisors did not always ensure that the work done there was of high quality”; “auditors came across six [animal] studies whose results had not been reported, even though early trials in humans were already underway”; “auditors found that Glaxo employees failed to record whether the [human subject] research participants had signed new consent forms”; “Glaxo said that employees were properly monitored trials but that they were not adequately documenting their work”; “[Glaxo] used travel agencies to funnel illegal payments to doctors and government officials to bolster drug sales.”
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