Tuesday, April 8, 2008; 3:00 PM
"Once upon a time there was an industry called pharma that was interested in doing well and doing good. Run by doctors and chemists, drug companies employed battalions of researchers whose scientific efforts resulted by mid-century in a flood of life-saving drugs, including antibiotics, vaccines, tranquilizers, antihistamines and steroids. As George Merck, president of the company founded by his father, put it in 1950, 'We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow. . . .' And how. Today, of course, drug companies are hugely profitable enterprises and the darlings of both Wall Street and K Street, having spent more on lobbying than any other industry between 1998 and 2004."
Melody Petersen, author and former New York Times reporter