There’s a great article in Rolling Stone about Eli Lilly marketing their phony miracle drug, Zyprexa[link is behind a paywall now].
It does a good job documenting how Lilly misled doctors and the public in order to rake in billions of dollars.
It fails, however, in ascribing their misdeeds to oversight and wishful thinking. The real motivation was simple corporate greed, and negligence that is well over the border into murderous disregard for the consequences of their marketing efforts to push this incredibly harmful drug. That’s what caused them to push Zyprexa on an unsuspecting medical community and on individual patients, multitudes of whom have died and suffered horrific side effects from the drug. So far $2.6 Billion has been awarded to the states who have sued Lilly, and to some of the victims (most of that going to their lawyers, of course, but that’s the subject of another rant).
When criminal negligence and willful disregard result in hundreds of deaths and thousands of harmed patients, shouldn’t the penalty be more than a slap on the wrist? A $2.6 billion fine is a small price to pay for the tens of billions earned by marketing their drugs off-label. Lilly should be shut down and its executives (past and present) prosecuted for manslaughter and jailed.
Eli Lilly execs responsible for approving and promoting this drug should be prosecuted for manslaughter, at the very least.
If that seems harsh, think what an individual would be charged with who created these kinds of harmful, widespread and often deadly effects.
They’ve killed more people than Timothy McVeigh did; hell, they’ve killed more people than died on 9/11 (if you consider those who will die of diabetes caused by this drug). Why are they being treated with kid gloves?