Dispatches from the Inquisition

  • by: Peter Pitts |
  • 02/26/2019
What the best advice for a bevy of Big Pharma execs as they prepare for a Congressional crucifixion? Don’t bend over.
Just the other day, the New York Times ran an editorial titled, “It’s Time for Pharmaceutical Companies to Have Their Tobacco Moment.” Do the CEOs need a roadmap to know where this is going? Medicines save lives. Tobacco kills. While the headline is off-base and objectionable, the prose makes a number of important points that can be summed up in one statement: Pharma has a lot of explaining to do.
So, here’s the good news – it’s a terrific opportunity to speak truth to power. But, will that happen? Here’s what Senator Charles Grassley had to say on the matter:
“I hope that the drug CEOs testifying tomorrow don’t try to blame everyone but themselves/take no responsibility for their role in fixing the problem. We already understand there are other factors to consider. Tomorrow is about the part drug companies can do to lower costs for patients and taxpayers.”
Wise words from a wise man. But will those posing the questions be seeking sage advice or their very own "I am Torquemada" moment?
It’s time we all took to heart the Japanese proverb, “Don’t fix the blame. Fix the problem.”
And to those CEOs preparing their remarks – be honest, forceful and helpful. Call it as you see it. Have solutions. That’s why you earn the big bucks.

As the great Frank Douglas reminds us, "It's not what you control, it's what you contribute."

Do the right thing.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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