“For the first 50 years of your life the food industry is trying to make you fat. Then, the second 50 years, the pharmaceutical industry is treating you for everything.”

–Pierre Dukan

Big pharmaceuticals have been influential since the dawn of the day. Not only is it a multibillion dollar industry but holds immense power in politics especially in countries like the US as it has the ability to fund entire election campaigns. One of their creations, Avandia by GlaxoSmithKline, also called the miracle drug as it was said to be the cure to type 2 Diabetes, was approved back in 1999 by the FDA. Extensive research holding information about the side effects of the drugs, which included possible cardiovascular complications along with reports on a 43 percent increase in the risk of a heart attack occurring, was buried. As its adverse effects continued to increase, the drug was recalled upon the insistence of public officials.

Over 500,000 thousand lawsuits were filed against GlaxoSmithKline by patients who had developed heart conditions that were not informed of its side effects during the clinical trials. Since then, the company has paid over 770 million dollars as settlements only resolving around 50,000 cases. It decided to put aside 6.4 billion dollars for future cases that they had yet to settle. In the status quo, the vulnerability of people is exploited by big influential entities like Big Pharmaceuticals as they are used as mere objects to achieve an end deemed necessary by profit orientated organisations. Even with penalties like paying settlements, sure the credibility of companies like GlaxoSmithKline were reduced significantly, the companies seemed largely unaffected and continue on the same path. Basic violations of ethical codes by the powerful and the lack of apathy displayed during the process should be worrisome for the entire world. Avandia is one example out of the many in history and many to come.