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Big pharma fines but no jail times.

Discussion in 'Ask Dr. Dave' started by Anonymous, Jan 17, 2015 at 2:33 PM.

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  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    "In the last few years pharmaceutical companies have agreed to pay over $13 billion to resolve U.S. Department of Justice allegations of fraudulent marketing practices, including the promotion of medicines for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration".

    http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/bigpharma

    For the life of me there's something that I just can't wrap my small brain around. Maybe someone could help me out. If you read the information, per the posted link, you would note that some pharma companies were fined billions of dollars by the feds for outright fraudulent activity in marketing their products that apparently resulted or could have resulted in serious injury or even death to innocent consumers. In some cases, the information documents that the monetary fines were applied "to resolve civil and criminal liabilities". Corporations are not just amorphous entities with no guiding hand. They consist of real human beings who concoct strategic decisions to maximize profits and revenues. As a matter of fact, it's been reported that the courts have granted corporations "corporate personhood", thus allowing them to make large donations to support chosen political candidates. Infusing many millions of dollars to elect their partnered legislators.

    Here is my question: Why aren't those "persons" employed by a "corporate personhood" who made the decision(s) to apparently withhold or embellish product information that could potentially harm other "persons" prosecuted criminally and upon conviction thrown in jail? Why are corporations allowed to buy their way out of 'criminal liability'? For example, consider an investment advisor (who of course is called a "person"). For the sake of argument, let's imagine the advisor marketed certain investments to senior citizens and failed to disclose certain known critical risks inherent in his product(s). Now imagine what would happen to him if the investment(s) took a southbound train off a cliff due to exposure to one or more of those known undisclosed risks and his clients lost millions of dollars? Do you think that "person" would be able to pay a fine to the government to forego criminal prosecution and, upon conviction, jail time? Well? Do you?

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not a pharma basher. This just happens to be a pharma venue. Other industries conduct similar shennanigans. An obvious one is the banking industry. Several large banks were caught red-handed collectively laundering trillions of illicit drug proceeds for the south of the border drug cartels. This is all public information that you can google. Some were involved in the financing of airplanes used to tranport tons of illicit drugs across international borders. Once again, "to resolve civil and criminal liabilities" those banks were simply allowed to pay penalties to the feds. Interestingly enough, those fines did not come close to the actual laundering revenues :) . None of the banker 'persons' were indicted, prosecuted or jailed for those illegal activities. As a matter of fact some collected lucrative bonuses. Now, imagine a low level drug dealer 'person' who sold a 6 oz. bag of marijuana to an undercover officer? Could he pay the government a fine and steer clear of the criminal courts or a jail cell? What do you think? :) Yet the banker 'persons' who financed the airplane that transports tons of marijuana into the nation escape criminal prosecution. Hmmm.

    My intention is not to make this a legal discussion. Oftentimes those are boring and very little progress is made. In fact, it usually compounds the confusion. Rather, I would like the comments to focus on the path we are carving for our society and the future for our children. Also, it would be interesting to discuss the enormous powers (and privileges) given to big corporations that greatly influence national policy and our day to day lives. Do you think legal "corporate personhood" should not only provide corporations with the privileges of being a 'person' but expose them to the inherent risks of being a 'person' as well?

    Okay. Enough from me. What say you?
     

  2. DrDave

    DrDave Member

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    Absolutely.

    Thanks for your provocative post. I'm an advocate of small government, and I've always found it ironic that so many of my "conservative" friends are reluctant to condemn the most abhorrent form of welfare - corporate welfare.
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thank you for for feedback, Dr. Dave.

    I would be estatic if we could isolate this societal problem to the conservatives. That way all the liberals could band together and fight it. However, that's clearly not the case. Obama is the epitome of liberalism. The liberals love him. He told us back in 2008 that he would go after the 'fat cats'. Remember? Since that time, the 'fat cats' have only gotten fatter. None were punished for their participation in the largest economic meltdown in the history of the human race. The Too Big To Fail banks have only gotten larger and now consume a larger proportion of the nation's total banking industry. So they were rewarded for creating the global economic meltdown. This happened under Obama's watch when he had a democrat majority in the House and the Senate in the beginning of his term. We, the people, will never get anything accomplished if we allude this to be a war between the liberals and the conservatives. We will only get more of the same. This is a societal problem that is a result of what they call the '2-party system' where the electeds wear different colored jerseys but all play on the same team. Classic 'Wall Street vs. Main Street' or 'Ruling Class vs. Peons'. Personally, I am a political atheist. I realize that we have seen a merger of state and corporate powers in America and both liberal and conservative politics got us there. And until the people understand that, nothing really changes.
     
  4. DrDave

    DrDave Member

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    It sounds like we are like-minded in many ways. A lot of the points you cite are behind my belonging to the Libertarian Party.

    Thanks for your post!
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    You strike me as a very logical and fair thinker, Dr. Dave. So it doesn't surprise me that you are a Libertarian. I commend you on your choice of political parties. For sure it's one of the best.

    I would become a Libertarian like you; however, I can't do that in good conscience due to the Libertarian stance on illegal immigration. No nation has ever prospered by allowing unsceened indigent, illiterate foreigners to freely infiltrate their borders and steal jobs from its own needy citizens. That's why no other nation on earth (other than America) allows it. And to add insult to injury, the ruling class gives them free medical care, free education and access to state driver's licenses. Absolutely bizarre. If the Libertarians changed their platform on illegal immigration I would likely join up. In the meantime, I stay content as a political athiest.