Corporate Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on corporate corruption
In April 2016, at the height of the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets. By then, the opioid war had claimed 200,000 lives. Overdose deaths continue to rise. A handful of members of Congress, allied with the nation’s major drug distributors, prevailed upon the DEA and the Justice Department to agree to a more industry-friendly law. The new law makes it virtually impossible for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from the companies, according to internal agency and Justice Department documents and an independent assessment. Political action committees representing the industry contributed at least $1.5 million to the 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill. “The drug industry, the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores, have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before,” said Joseph T. Rannazzisi, who ran the DEA’s division responsible for regulating the drug industry and led a decade-long campaign of aggressive enforcement until he was forced out of the agency in 2015. “I mean, to get Congress to pass a bill to protect their interests in the height of an opioid epidemic just shows me how much influence they have.” The DEA and Justice Department have denied or delayed more than a dozen requests filed by The Post and “60 Minutes” under the Freedom of Information Act for public records that might shed additional light on the matter.
Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in pharmaceutical industry.
Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings. Monsanto officials will now be unable to meet MEPs, attend committee meetings or use digital resources on parliament premises in Brussels or Strasbourg. While a formal process still needs to be worked through, a spokesman for the parliament’s president Antonio Tajani said that the leaders of all major parliamentary blocks had backed the ban in a vote this morning. MEPs had been incensed at a Monsanto decision to shun a hearing organised by the environment and agriculture committees, with academics, regulators and campaigners, on 11 October. The meeting is expected to hear allegations that Monsanto unduly influenced regulatory studies into the safety of glyphosate, a key ingredient in its best-selling RoundUp weedkiller. “Those who ignore the rules of democracy also lose their rights as a lobbyist in the European parliament,” said the Green party president Philippe Lamberts. “US corporations must also accept the democratic control function of the parliament. Monsanto cannot escape this.” Monsanto spends between €300,000-€400,000 (Ł260,000 - Ł350,000) annually on lobbying in Brussels.
Note: Monsanto's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of its products from getting out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
About one out of every 12 U.S. doctors gets money, lunch or something else of value from companies that make opioid drugs, researchers reported Wednesday. Companies are spending much more time and effort marketing opioids to doctors than they are other, less addictive painkillers, the researchers found. They say their findings help explain why doctors have played such an important role in the opioid overuse epidemic. “A large proportion of physicians received payments - one in 12 physicians overall,” said Dr. Scott Hadland of the Boston Medical Center. “Tens of millions of dollars were transferred for marketing purposes for opioids. In some cases they are money provided directly to physicians - for example, the speaking fees, the consultant fees and the honoraria. In other cases it is reimbursement for things like travel,” Hadland said. Between 2013 and 2015, the team found 375,266 payments worth $46 million made to more than 68,000 doctors. “The top 1 percent of physicians (681 of them) received 82.5 percent of total payments in dollars,” the team wrote in their report. A study published last year found that physicians who accepted even one meal sponsored by a drug company were much more likely to prescribe a name-brand drug to patients later. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says doctors are definitely helping drive the addiction crisis. The result is deadly. More than 30,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2015.
Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A U.S. contractor bilked the American military out of $50 million spent on Bentleys, Aston Martins and big salaries for senior staffers’ significant others, according to a government audit. Senator Claire McCaskill demanded on Wednesday that the Pentagon explain why it was allowed to get away with it. The British company New Century Consulting (NCC) was deployed by the U.S. overseas to train Afghanistan forces. It was originally subcontracted by the now-defunct company Imperitas from 2008 to 2013 but has since taken over the contract completely. Under Imperitas, NCC ... paid the significant others of senior staff an average of $420,000 as “executive assistants” who worked from home, auditors found. It’s not clear whether Imperitas or NCC actually completed their work in Afghanistan, as neither retained complete training records. In a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis Wednesday, McCaskill ... wrote that “NCC was unable to provide evidence that these executive assistants actually performed any work.” This is not the first time that NCC or Imperitas spending has been questioned or the companies investigated. In 2016, a federal lawsuit was brought in New York by investors against Imperitas. In 2015, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction had an ongoing criminal investigation open against both NCC and Imperitas. And in 2012, two former employees of Imperitas ... sued the company, alleging their co-workers abused alcohol and drugs and possessed illegal weapons—all violations of U.S. policy.
Americans take more pills today than at any other time in recent history - and far more than people in any other country. Much of that medication use is lifesaving or at least life-improving. But a lot is not. The amount of harm stemming from inappropriate prescription medication is staggering. Almost 1.3 million people went to U.S. emergency rooms due to adverse drug effects in 2014, and about 124,000 died from those events. That’s according to estimates based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Other research suggests that up to half of those events were preventable. All of that bad medicine is costly, too. An estimated $200 billion per year is spent in the U.S. on the unnecessary and improper use of medication, for the drugs themselves and related medical costs. Our previous surveys have found that higher drug costs - including more expensive drugs and higher out-of-pocket costs - also strain household budgets, with many people telling us they had to cut back on groceries or delay paying other bills to pay for their prescriptions. Total spending on drug ads targeting consumers reached $6.4 billion last year, 64 percent more than in 2012. That’s $1.3 billion more than the FDA’s entire 2017 budget. Drug companies spend even more - $24 billion in 2012 alone - on marketing just to doctors through ads in medical journals, face-to-face sales, free medication samples, and educational and promotional meetings.
Sensitive personal details relating to almost 200 million US citizens have been accidentally exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee. The 1.1 terabytes of data includes birthdates, home addresses, telephone numbers and political views of nearly 62% of the entire US population. The data was available on a publicly accessible Amazon cloud server. Anyone could access the data. The information seems to have been collected from a wide range of sources - from posts on controversial banned threads on the social network Reddit, to committees that raised funds for the Republican Party. The information was stored in spreadsheets uploaded to a server owned by Deep Root Analytics. It had last been updated in January. Although it is known that political parties routinely gather data on voters, this is the largest breach of electoral data in the US to date and privacy experts are concerned about the sheer scale of the data gathered. "This is not just sensitive, it's intimate information, predictions about people's behaviour, opinions and beliefs that people have never decided to disclose to anyone," [said] Privacy International's policy officer Frederike Kaltheuner. However, the issue of data collection and using computer models to predict voter behaviour is not just limited to marketing firms - Privacy International says that the entire online advertising ecosystem operates in the same way.
Note: Elites like hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer have been backing a major effort to produce powerful new forms of mind control by combining mass media with Big Data. As the data collected for this purpose becomes increasingly accessible, privacy disappears.
A new federal lawsuit against Baylor University accuses football players of drugging and gang-raping young women as part of a hazing or bonding ritual - and the university of failing to investigate the pervasive sexual assault. The suit ... was filed by "Jane Doe," who says she was raped by four to eight Baylor players in February 2012. Her Title IX suit says the school's "deliberately indifferent response" effectively denied her educational opportunities. The alleged assaults and other criminal activities took place during former head football coach Art Briles' tenure at the school in Waco, Texas. Briles and former university President Ken Starr were both removed from their posts last year after a wave of sexual assault allegations against Baylor players. Earlier this year, a lawsuit by "Elizabeth Doe" alleged that ... at least 52 rapes and at least five gang rapes were carried out by more than 30 Baylor players. The suit also describes a culture of sexual assault woven into hazing rituals: "Members of the Baylor football team ... developed a system of hazing their freshman recruits by having them bring or invite freshman females to house parties hosted by members of the football team. At these parties, the girls would be drugged and gang raped. "The gang rapes were considered a 'bonding' experience for the football players. "Photographs and videotapes of the semi-conscious girls would be taken during the gang rapes and circulated amongst the football players."
Public money and public universities boost Big Pharma’s profits, so shouldn’t the public be able to afford the drugs? Almost 1 in 2 people used a prescription drug in the past month, and more than 1 in 5 used three or more. As the population ages and deals with more chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and depression, the percentage of people needing prescription medicines is growing. But what really sets us apart is how much they cost. Medicines in the US cost 2 to 6 times more than the rest of the world. 1 in 5 Americans - 35 million people - do not get their prescriptions filled because they don't have enough money. Big Pharma says high prices are necessary to invest in breakthrough research. But corporations don't actually do much of that, [and] have shifted money away from new-drug research to quick-profit minor variations on proven moneymakers. So who funds new-drug and breakthrough-drug research? Taxpayers. 84% of new-drug research is funded by the government. The public also subsidizes drug research through generous R&D tax credits. Using public research (plus charging high prices) gives corporations big profits. Drug companies' annual stock returns are twice the standard.
Note: A comprehensive infographic showing Big Pharma's preferential treatment by US regulators can be found at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.
Wells Fargo branches across the country deliberately targeted “undocumented immigrants” to open savings and checking accounts in order to meet aggressive sales goals, according to court documents. In sworn declarations obtained by ... attorney Joseph Cotchett, former employees describe a scheme in which Spanish-speaking colleagues would visit places they knew were frequented by immigrants (including construction sites and a 7-Eleven), drive them to a branch and persuade them to open an account. Some employees would give the immigrants $10 apiece to start an account. The alleged scheme ... raises fresh questions about whether bank employees merely deceived customers by opening accounts in their names - or further crossed a line. Under federal law, banks must verify the identities of customers. Given Wells Fargo’s well-documented rush to hit sales goals, experts say it’s quite possible that employees did not follow procedures. In any case, targeting immigrants to hit sales goals should have raised red flags. The documents were filed Wednesday as part of a shareholder lawsuit filed ... in San Francisco Superior Court against Wells Fargo’s top executives. Last year, the San Francisco banking giant admitted that thousands of employees created up to 2 million fraudulent accounts in the names of real consumers without their consent. Wells Fargo ultimately fired CEO John Stumpf and paid $185 million in fines.
Note: Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Leaked internal emails appear to show employees at one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies calling for “celebration” over price hikes of cancer drugs. After purchasing five different cancer drugs from British firm GlaxoSmithKline, [Aspen Pharmacare] tried to sell the medicines ... for up to 40 times their previous price. When bargaining over drug prices in Spain, the pharmaceutical giant is said to have threatened to stop selling the cancer treatments unless the health minister agreed to price rises of up to 4,000 per cent. Now another leaked email appears to reveal that staff at Aspen discussed destroying their supplies of the drug in the row. The price increases were made possible by a loophole that allows drug companies to change the price of medicines if they are no longer branded with the same name. The loophole is designed to make drugs cheaper once their patents have expired – but if drug companies have no competition, they are free to rise prices as well. A ruling by the Italian competition watchdog found Aspen had taken an “aggressive” approach to negotiations in the country. The company said it would stop supplying Italy with the drugs in October 2013 if authorities did not agree to price rises of up to 2,100 per cent in three months.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
In the annals of wrongful convictions, there is nothing that comes close in size to the epic drug-lab scandal that is entering its dramatic final act in Massachusetts. About 23,000 people convicted of low-level drug crimes are expected to have their cases wiped away next month en masse, the result of a five-year court fight over the work of a rogue chemist. The prosecutors didn't want the scandal to end like this. They fought for a way to preserve the convictions. The chemist, Annie Dookhan ... worked at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Boston for nearly a decade before her misconduct was exposed in 2012. She admitted to tampering with evidence, forging test results and lying about it. She served three years in prison. [It] is not entirely clear why Dookhan ... felt compelled to change test results on such a massive scale. She was by far the lab's most prolific analyst, a record that impressed her supervisors but also worried her co-workers - a red flag that went overlooked for years. She also maintained friendly relationships with prosecutors, even though her role was to remain objective. Lab scandals have undermined thousands of convictions in eight states in the past decade. Critics say forensic chemists feel a duty to help prosecutors rather than remain neutral. Because of the system's reliance on plea bargains to keep cases moving, defendants often don't have a chance to challenge results from drug labs.
Note: The FBI was found to have faked an entire branch of forensic science. If one chemist's falsified results led to so many unjust criminal convictions, and lab scandals are known to have undermined convictions in eight states, how trustworthy is the science that feeds the extremely profitable mass incarceration industry? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing judicial corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The former president of Penn State University was convicted Friday of keeping a lid on the scandal surrounding notorious child-abusing coach Jerry Sandusky. A jury [found] Graham Spanier guilty of one count of child endangerment. The charge stemmed from Spanier's handling of a complaint against Sandusky, a once-popular assistant football coach whose career at Penn State spanned three decades. The trial centered on how Spanier and two other university leaders handled a complaint by a graduate assistant who said he reported seeing Sandusky sexually molesting a boy in a team shower in 2001. The administrators told Sandusky he could not bring children on to the campus any longer, but they did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities. Sandusky was not arrested until 2011 after an anonymous tip led prosecutors to investigate the shower incident. He was convicted the next year of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving a decades-long prison sentence. Four of the eight young men testifying at Sandusky’s trial said the abuse occurred after 2001. “Evil in the form of Jerry Sandusky was allowed to run wild,” Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte told the jury. The scandal ... resulted in the school paying out more than $90 million to settle civil claims by over 30 accusers. Two of Spanier’s former lieutenants, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment charges a week ago and testified against Spanier.
Note: Read more about how senior Penn State officials covered up Sandusky's crimes due to fears of bad publicity. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
States across the U.S. have been introducing legislation that would punish people for switching to electric vehicles. Since the start of 2017, six states (Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Montana) have introduced legislation that would require EV owners to pay a fee of up to $180 a year. Sadly, this isn’t the first time people have been penalized for driving green. Wyoming, Colorado, Virginia, Nebraska, Missouri, Washington, North Carolina, Idaho, Georgia, and Michigan have all implemented yearly fees on electric and hybrid vehicles that vary from $50 to $300 per driver per year. Arizona’s and Arkansas’ respective Department of Transportations are also suggesting legislators cast a fee for EV ownership. Georgia, formerly the state with the second most EV sales, used to offer a tax credit of up to $5,000, but replaced the program with a $200 yearly fee that led to an 80 percent drop in EV sales. This attack is coming at a time when EVs are just starting to take off within the larger auto industry. Reportedly, for more than a year, Koch Industries has spent nearly $10 million dollars, and plans to do so every year, on a campaign to boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government support for electric vehicles. When oil tycoons consider a rise in EV drivers to be a threat to their wallets, you know EVs are taking off.
As a social worker, Susannah Rose referred clients with cancer to patient advocacy groups she trusted to dispense unbiased advice - until she heard the groups might be taking money from pharmaceutical companies. So she set out to investigate. Two-thirds of patient advocacy organizations reported receiving industry funding, Rose, now a bioethicist, finds in a new study. Her research was published ... in JAMA Internal Medicine along with other studies showing a host of ways pharmaceutical manufacturers appear to pay for influence. Rose and her colleagues identified 7,865 patient advocacy organizations in the U.S., most involving cancer and rare or genetic disorders. They surveyed a random sample of the organization's leaders. More than 67 percent of 245 patient advocacy groups reported receiving industry funding in the past year. Of those, nearly 12 percent reported that more than half their funding came from industry. When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drafted guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain in an effort to curtail a growing epidemic of abuse of the painkillers in 2015, nonprofit organizations stepped in to challenge the effort. The CDC postponed releasing the guidelines and solicited public comments for 30 days. Opioid manufacturers gave money to 45 of 158 patient advocacy and professional organizations that commented on the proposed guidelines. Organizations with funding from opioid manufacturers were significantly more likely to oppose them, researchers found.
Note: It's interesting to note that apparently no other major media picked up this Reuters article. Drug company executives have recently been caught bribing doctors to over-prescribe opioids, and ex-DEA official has publicly accused Congress of helping drug makers avoid responsibility for their role in the US opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Anti-vaccine rant exposes conflict over hospitals’ embrace of alternative medicine
January 9, 2017, Boston Globe/Statnews.com
In the span of a few days, the anti-vaccine screed of a Cleveland Clinic doctor prompted a social media firestorm, an apparent retraction from the physician, and promises of disciplinary action by administrators of his prestigious hospital system. The anti-vaccine column that triggered the weekend’s outcry was written by Dr. Daniel Neides, director and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, which advertises homeopathic remedies and alternative weight loss and pain management treatments. In his commentary posted on Cleveland.com, Neides, who is a family doctor, said that preservatives and other ingredients in vaccines are dangerous and are likely behind the increase in diagnosed cases of neurological diseases such as autism. “Does the vaccine burden - as has been debated for years - cause autism? I don’t know and will not debate that here. What I will stand up and scream is that newborns without intact immune systems and detoxification systems are being over-burdened with preservatives and adjuvants in the vaccines,” he wrote. Adjuvants are added to vaccines to prompt a stronger immune response. Neides issued an apology and apparent retraction on Sunday, saying in a statement released by the Cleveland Clinic: “I fully support vaccinations and my concern was meant to be positive around the safety of them.”
Note: It is highly unusual that at the time of writing this, the above Boston Globe link automatically forwards to another website. The lack of willingness to entertain the wealth of documented evidence of vaccines dangers by the media is astounding. See the original article on this webpage and note how this very respected physician is being ridiculed by so many who parrot the official line about vaccine safety. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
San Francisco’s Wells Fargo set up an incentivized system of rewards and punishments for its staff at every level that led to the creation of phony accounts and illicit fees being charged to millions of customers. Yet Wells Fargo ... refused to appear before my state Senate committee last month and has sidestepped federal regulators and inquiries. The last company to conduct itself in such a way before a California legislative committee was Enron. These criminal activities affected up to 2 million accounts - nearly 900,000 in California alone. The financial cost to consumers was in the millions of dollars, and the loss in trust is untold. Wells Fargo knew it had a problem - firing more than 1,000 employees a year for five years is testament to that. Yet, it took no effective steps to stop the fraud. These weren’t just low-level employees. After my staff pressed them, Wells now says that of the 5,300 staff fired for unethical sales practices, 480 were bank branch managers or higher. An untold number of managers continue to work at the bank despite the fact that they engaged in fraudulent behavior. Wells Fargo has begun to make amends by entering into a settlement agreement with local and federal regulators, paying $185 million in fines. It also has retained an outside accounting firm to audit accounts to identify and fully reimburse every customer for any fees associated with an unauthorized account. Wells Fargo must come clean on how pervasive this scheme was.
Note: The above was written by Steve Glazer, chairman of the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Seth Ellingsworth of West Richland, Washington, says he got sick in an instant last year, when he briefly inhaled a strange odor at his job at the nearby Hanford Nuclear Site. Seventy years ago, the Hanford Site produced plutonium for America's nuclear arsenal. Today, it's run by the Department of Energy through its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions. The contractor is managing a $110 billion cleanup of 56 million gallons of chemical and nuclear waste, stored in 177 underground tanks. But the tanks are leaking, and the vapors they emit contain toxic and radioactive chemicals. Some nuclear experts have called Hanford "the most toxic place in America" and "an underground Chernobyl waiting to happen." The DOE has acknowledged in nearly 20 studies conducted over the past 24 years that there is a safety risk to workers at Hanford. But critics say the DOE ... continues to put workers at risk. Neuropsychologist Brian Campbell says he has evaluated 29 people at Hanford with both respiratory and cognitive symptoms, including "some of the worst cases of dementia that I've seen in young people." Dr. Campbell said the DOE doesn't want to acknowledge the injuries. Workers told us that "over and over," the Department of Energy and the contractor on site told them the readings for harmful materials were safe. Former workers also said that in the past they were almost never allowed to opt for protective gear, like the supplied air tanks recommended by many experts.
Note: A Newsweek article describes the Hanford site as an "American Fukushima" that will require 50 more years and $110 billion to adequately clean up. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear power news articles from reliable major media sources.
Concerns about the inner workings of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been mounting in recent months amid disclosures of cozy corporate alliances. Now a group of more than a dozen senior scientists have reportedly lodged an ethics complaint alleging the federal agency is being influenced by corporate and political interests in ways that short-change taxpayers. A group calling itself CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in writing in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to [a] public watchdog organization. The members of the group have elected to file the complaint anonymously for fear of retribution. “It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests... and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception,” the letter states. The complaint cites among other things a “cover up” of the poor performance of a women’s health program called ... WISEWOMAN. The complaint alleges there was a coordinated effort within the CDC to misrepresent data given to Congress. “Definitions were changed and data ‘cooked’ to make the results look better than they were,” the complaint states. And the complaint cites as “troubling” the ties between soft drink giant Coca-Cola Co. ... and two high-ranking CDC officials.
The scale of sexual harassment and gender violence by UK university staff has been likened to the scandals involving the Catholic church and Jimmy Savile in accounts shared by more than 100 women with the Guardian. Their stories – including those of verbal bullying, serial harassment, assault, sexual assault and rape – expose an alarming pattern of abuse and harassment in British universities which remains largely hidden. Many women said they had not pursued complaints for fear of jeopardising their academic careers. Those who did complain said they felt isolated and unprotected, while the more powerful men they accused appeared to be untouchable. The women’s accounts follow an exclusive Guardian report on the use of non-disclosure agreements in university sexual harassment cases. Jennifer Saul, professor of philosophy at the University of Sheffield and an expert on sexual harassment in higher education, said she was not surprised by the ... stories: “There’s a systemic problem. Too often, victims are afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation. “When they do come forward, often they are brushed off or not believed. When they are believed, their allegations are still often dismissed as unprovable. Even when things are taken more seriously, harassers are generally allowed to leave quietly, which enables them to move some place else and do the same thing.” Many of the women who made complaints ... felt they were the ones on trial.
It's rare to get a glimpse behind the curtain of pharmaceutical marketing. CBC [has] learned about a stealth marketing campaign involving a drug company, a well-known Canadian comedian, a doctor and a public relations firm. "Cathy Jones of This Hour Has 22 Minutes is on a mission to get women to start talking about female sexual health after menopause - and particularly, their vaginas," wrote PR company GCI Group in a press release, offering to arrange an interview. But nowhere did it say this "mission" was initiated and sponsored by Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., which makes a vaginal hormone pill. Nor did GCI's release specify that Jones was paid to give media interviews about vaginal atrophy. When CBC asked if there was a drug company involved, the PR firm said yes, Novo Nordisk, but that was to be kept secret. "No parties including GCI want any mention of the drug or drug company," CBC was told. "It's an unbranded campaign." In other words, it's marketing that looks like any other lifestyle article in news. This is what it looks like on the Globe and Mail's website. There was originally no mention of Novo Nordisk sponsoring the campaign. Is it OK for a drug company, behind a curtain, to generate news about a condition and then encourage women to see their doctor? "No, it is not OK," says Dr. Jerilynn Prior [with] the University of British Columbia. "It is misrepresenting the marketing purpose behind it." This is a rare public example of something that happens all the time.
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