The global pharmaceutical sector is wide open to corruption abuse, with both governments and companies failing to properly address corruption risks, according to new research from Transparency International (TI) Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Program.
As of the beginning of 2016, one in 10 corruption investigations by U.S. authorities involve pharmaceutical companies, significantly higher than the banking sector. Despite the obvious risk, firms are entrusted with a large degree of autonomy, without proper governmental oversight.
The pharmaceutical sector has been largely unchecked for corruption allowing it to develop into one that has allowed profits to be prioritized at the expense of patients’ health.
Sophie Peresson, director, Transparency International Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Program, said, “The effects of corruption in the pharmaceutical sector and health sector are stark, where it can literally be a matter of life and death. It is shocking that despite scandal after scandal involving pharma companies still policy makers simply are not taking seriously the corrosive effect of corruption. The red flags are being ignored. Governments and pharma companies must recognize their responsibility in fighting corruption and stop turning a blind eye.”
Transparency International’s research found measures to combat corruption inadequate across the following areas:
The Transparency International Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Program identifies four key challenges to preventing corruption in the pharmaceutical sector: