Unethical practices - drug industry

Joseph Bret Wood bretwood at cs.uoregon.edu
Wed Aug 30 04:11:43 EST 1995

In article <41tiat$e0i at parsifal.nando.net>,
John W. Barron <jwbarron at nando.net> wrote:
>It is very easy to point to our pharmaceutical industry and sling
>arrows at its faults.  But, please list for me the drugs that have
>been successfully developed and used in the U.S. which came
>from non-industry sources, such as universities, NIH, etc.
>I would very much like to have such a list.  I think the other
>readers would profit from such information, also.

During my studies in the chemistry departments of the University of Oregon,
and MIT, the vast majority of funding for the organic chemistry labs came
from petroleum companies, and pharmeceutical companies.  I assume that
all of the research done for these companies had some bearing on their
development of medicines.  Just because Universities and the US Government
don't produce and market medications doesn't make the drug companies some
kind of angelic benefactors who are graciously bestowing upon us their
wonder-drugs.  Most of the non-secret research (and some of the secret
stuff) goes on at the schools, rather than the drug companies.  Hell, we
even had an exam which was based entirely on the difference between a
corporate patent and a university patent for an "identical" chemical
process.  The university and the corporation shared the patent for the 
specific process, then immediately after, the corporation was granted an
extremely broad patent on the entire CATEGORY of processes.  The manner in
which industry uses schools as their own private R&D labs is a whole new
topic, but don't spew this stuff about how Pfizer is the savior of the
world, while NIH and Chemistry, Biology, and Medical schools around the
country are just twiddling their thumbs.

-Bret Wood
-bretwood at cs.uoregon.edu

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