Ethics and Pharmaceuticals

Being a college student who isn’t really sure of what path I want to take, I’ve been reading up on different careers and paths. One of the ones that I looked at is the pharmaceutical industry. Being in the socially-conscious, activist scene, my visceral reaction was negative. How could I join an industry that is “the Man”?

My initial reason for looking into it is that it did revolutionize health and was extremely helpful in moving society forward. My thinking is, if it does some good, then it’s worth it. I may be contributing to an industry that over-prescribes for sales and doesn’t necessarily have its costumer in the best interest sometimes, but it has helped people somewhere. Ideally, I want a career that benefits people and society.

I recently stumbled upon a video that discusses the dilemma I have with the pharmaceutical industry. Professor Dave points out many examples I have used to justify my position like the discovery of penicillin and aspirin.

A wikipedia article that I looked up goes into what is going on in the industry a bit.

Even after all this, I think I’m going to keep it open as an option. I have this gut feeling that we’re very close to major break throughs in the areas of AIDS and cancer. I would like to be a part of research that is one more baby step closer to cracking the code of these diseases.


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