Thursday, September 28, 2006

Drug companies lobby ministers

The Guardian has a front page story today on pharmaceutical companies lobbying of ministers both to encourage fast track approval of their drugs through the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) assessment process and to complain that NICE were not very nice in turning down, for example, Pfizer's Alzheimer's drug on the grounds that it was no more effective than existing treatments and too expensive. The top executives have also been hinting that unless the UK steps in line they might take their business elsewhere.

This is absolutely standard practice for the big pharmacuetical sector, lest anyone be too shocked. If you are interested in the activities of pharmaceutical companies then I'd highly recommend Information Feudalism by Peter Drahos and The Truth About Drug Companies by Marcia Angell. In business the key perspective to understand is that concerned with maximising shareholder value. The means to that end, sadly, are somewhat incidental.

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