We like to believe that this kind of behaviour is always a feature of the past a never the present. This is a valuable survival mechanism and stops us being overcome with the stress of accepting it whilst we have no power to stop it.
Despicable behaviour is perpetrated daily all over the world for profits. Being a step or two removed means behaving like this is easy. Then there's always the classic 'for the greater good' BS that has led to some of the most egregious crimes on a scale that is beyond comprehension.
Here's a little reminder from closer to the present day:
Amgen accepted $612m as civil liability and $150m as criminal fine and forfeiture in 2007 for illegally introduced Aranesp into interstate commerce.
Bayer and J&J jointly resolved approximately 25,000 claims filed in the US federal and state courts against their anticoagulant drug, Xarelto, in 2019. The patients filed complaints stating that Xarelto’s use led to internal bleeding, stroke, and even death.
The lawsuits alleged that the two companies downplayed the risks related to Xarelto and marketed the drug as a substitute to another anticoagulant, warfarin, to avoid fatal blood clots. Healthcare providers and patients were not informed adequately regarding the risks related to Xarelto and the resulting life-threatening complications.
TAP paid approximately $875m for fraudulent drug pricing and marketing practices for its prostate cancer drug, Lupron. The settlement amount included $290m as a criminal fine, $559.4m for filing false and misleading claims with the Medicare and Medicaid programmes, as well as $25.5m for filing false and misleading claims with the states in 2000.
Merck pleaded guilty and paid $950m to settle criminal and civil liabilities for unlawful promotion and marketing of its painkiller drug Vioxx in 2011.
Eli Lilly paid a $515m criminal fine and up to $800m as civil settlements to resolve allegations related to the unlawful promotion of its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa in 2009.
In 2012, Abbott pleaded guilty to unlawfully promoting its prescription drug Depakote, which resulted in a $700m criminal fine and forfeiture, in addition to $800m in civil settlements.
Johnson & Johnson paid a $485m as a criminal fine and forfeiture and $1.72bn as civil settlements to settle various misconduct charges filed in 2013.
Pfizer and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company paid $2.3bn to settle criminal and civil liabilities for illegal promotion of their pharmaceutical products. The amount included payment of more than $102m in civil settlement to six whistleblowers of the company’s fraudulent practices in 2009.
Takeda settled approximately 8,000 federal and state lawsuits over its oral diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) by paying $2.4bn in 2015. The company was found guilty of hiding the bladder cancer risks related to the drug.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) settled the biggest ever healthcare lawsuit in history with a $3bn payment in 2012. The company pleaded guilty to three counts and paid $1bn as a criminal penalty and $2bn to resolve civil liabilities. GSK was found guilty of unlawfully promoting certain prescription drugs such as Paxil, Wellbutrin, and Avandia. It failed to report certain safety data to the FDA and reported false drug prices to underpay rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.
The above is copied, in part, from https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/features/biggest-pharmaceutical-lawsuits/