I have no time to follow the new on a regular basis, but I always have the time to check the best Paleo-related blogs. Methuselah has made me aware of a recent BBC File on 4 broadcast on pharma industry:
It is good that such things get the attention of the media, all for the public good. But you have to see it in perspective.
Pharma industry is probably the most regulated of all. The number of hurdles in developing a new drug is beyond belief. There is scrutiny at every step. Of course, things happen sometimes because of negligence, sometimes because of greed. But the industry is there to make money.
Now consider the public health experts on a mission to make us live healthier lives on a low fat, high carb diet. What is the level of evidence in official recommendations? Where is the scrutiny? Hundreds, maybe thousands of people gained weight on Seroquel, millions are getting fat and diabetic on the official healthy diet.
A book "The Big Fat Lies" has just come out written by a British lawyer Hannah Sutter. It accuses the Food Standards Agency and its experts with conflicts of interest of making people fat, which essentially translates into more disease and more death.
Did BBC comment on this book, or at least on the evidence it contains? Each day many new people are getting diabetic and die, yet according to Google News, only Daily Mail covered the story, which can actually turn some people off reading the book.
All in all, I think that pharma industry is probably the most ethical off them all, if you consider food, transport (safety, pollution, cosmic radiation on flights), telecom (radiation), cosmetics (unfounded claims, safety, cost), clothing and shoes (chemicals, effect on posture), plastics (leaching), paints, agriculture (hormone disrupting pesticides), etc.
Also, the common conspiracy argument that Big Pharma dwells on the disease and is even interested in more people getting more and more diseased simply does not hold. With less obesity, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and arthritis the companies would simply be developing more lifestyle drugs, perhaps more gene therapies, perhaps more effort would go into longevity research (e.g. how to counter cross-linking Maillard chemicals), sports physiology research. There would always be room for improvement and profit.
Now, eat me alive :)
By the way, the Sutter book is excellent when you realise that it has been written from a lawyer's point of view. It is also an easily read summary of current low carb thinking. The author is not, however, an expert in nutrition and is not aware of nuances, such as oxidation of cholesterol and fats, omega-6 (recommenting nuts as super food) or intermittent fasting (recommending NOT to skip breakfasts). But this book is a gem and I hope things will change quite soon, i.e. in 20-30 years. For Big Pharma now is the time to start thinking strategically about the change in demand which is inevitable.