For the likes of GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer, who were both charged with corruption in China over recent years, things are about to get even worse.
Some of you may recall, that GlaxoSmithKline was behind a huge racketeering and bribery scandal in China over bribing government and health officials. GlaxoSmithKline’s investigators were sentenced to jail time, and it’s really unclear as to whether additional employees and management staff were sentenced to jail time as well. There are conflicting stories, but from the sounds of the new Foreign Corruption Practices Act, you’re going to find more of these corrupt executives from pharmaceutical companies going to jail for their crimes. And I could not be happier!
Instead of choosing to not be criminals in the future, like children, GlaxoSmithKline threatened to pull out of China altogether. I guess, when you’re that corrupt, that it’s easier just to leave an entire country than to stop bribing, extorting and blackmailing government and health officials.
However, China, of all countries, is actually the first country to take a common sense approach to the criminal activities of pharmaceutical companies and the like. By jailing those who mastermind the criminal activities of these corporations. There is nothing, other than a small pittance of the profits that they make from their corruption, that is ever the consequence of criminal and unethical activity here in North America. But once you add in personal and criminal liability for those who put these crimes together, it changes the game.
Here’s something I want you to consider, and I’m just going to bring up an outrageous example of what these companies are getting away with… In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline was fined only 400,000 pesos, the equivalent of under $30,000 American dollars for conducting illegal practices in a clinical trial for flu vaccines that killed 14 babies without the parents consent, and for forging consent documents to try to cover up their crimes.
Imagine, a $30,000 fine is that they received for killing 14 babies and then forging parental consent documents to cover it up. It’s really no wonder that these companies don’t stop committing crime after crime after crime. Nobody went to jail, but 2 other doctors were fined as well, about the equivalent of US$22,000 each. So a grand total of fines was US$28,000 for GlaxoSmithKline, and US$22,000 in fines for each of the 2 doctors involved. Making it a total of about US$72,000 in fines for killing 14 babies.
They hide clinical data, they lie about their drugs, and in fact, GlaxoSmithKline, the same company, was fined the largest fine in pharmaceutical industry history at $3 billion back in 2011, for manipulating clinical data, illegally marketing addictive drugs to children, failing to disclose known safety issues and so much more, but the fine represents only about 10% of the revenue that was made on these drugs. So what is the motivation to stop them from doing this?
They were actually fined less than the sales tax that I pay at the cash register! To put this in the context, It’s like robbing a bank, shooting and wounding every person in the bank and only having to give back 10% of the money while never being held responsible, and never having to go to jail.
The only way that this corruption is going to stop is when these executives are held criminally responsible and put in jail for their crimes. When these corporations are fined a minimum of double the amount of profit made on the drugs that they misrepresented or the sales through bribery. Then, and only then will this corruption begin to stop.
In closing, to China…. Thank you! I hope that our own governments adopt your practices when it comes to pharmaceutical and corporate corruption.