Between 2012 and 2016 the drug industry donated over £57 million to UK patient organizations, a new analysis reveals.
Just as it does in most industrialized countries, the drug industry wields enormous influence in the UK. Illustrating this, a report published in 2005 on behalf of the British government described the influence of drug companies as “pervasive and persistent”. The report stated that the volume, extent and intensity of this influence impacts not only on clinical medicine and research, but also on patients, regulators, the media, civil servants and politicians. The possibility that some aspects of drug industry campaigns are covert and their source undeclared was said to be “particularly worrying.”
Recognizing what we ourselves have said for years now, the committee that prepared this UK report was told by a number of witnesses that it is in the drug industry’s interest to classify as large a percentage of the population as possible as ‘abnormal’. Bearing this in mind, the report notes that diagnosing genetic susceptibility to disease is a key means through which people who are otherwise well may be classified as ‘abnormal’. Predicting that the number of people labeled in this way seems likely to rise dramatically in future, the report states that the UK government has done little to curb the increasing ‘medicalization’ of society and may even have encouraged it.
To learn more about the influence of the drug industry in the UK, read this article on our website.