Pharma’s Critics Don’t Hate the Drug Industry

Peter Rost linked to a recent post by Pharma Giles recently, and with good reason.  In it, Giles  cited "Pharmablogosphere" survey results, which found that his blog and others were critical of the industry.  One of his colleagues on the "unfavorable bias" side was Rost, who is often dismissed as having a chip on his shoulder, hating the industry and being hell-bent on revenge.  Although he has set his guns on Pfizer, Rost clearly isn't an industry hater.  He'd aspired to become a pharma CEO, and, instead has become something unique, and quite a bit more interesting.  It was moving to read of Ashok Idnani of India emailing Rost installments of his story from Internet cafes.  Ashok is just one of many people in this industry who'd work hard and loyally.  Rost listened.  Giles is another former pharma insider and his blog uses parody, but with positive intent. As he writes: ...I don't think that I have an "unfavourable bias towards the industry" at all. I love it. It's just that there's a difference between the way that I love the industry and the way some of its cheerleaders do. I love the pharmaceutical industry in a grown-up way. I want it do well and I want it to do good. I despair when its leaders run it off the rails and into the mud, in much the same way as a parent despairs when a much-loved son or daughter starts "hanging out with the wrong crowd". In my own tiny and insignificant way, I try and point out the error of its ways by showing how corrupt and greedy its actions can be or are perceived to be. It's my hope that a groundswell of similar collective opinion will lead to either a change of heart within pharma's senior leadership, or to penalties for malfeasance that cannot be sustained by them. Either will do for me. Now, in that same survey, this blog was rated "most supportive" of the industry. Yet I wouldn't use the term "cheerleader." In fact,  those on both sides of Mack's opinion meter agree:  we're supportive of the good things going on within pharma and the individuals who are working hard to bring new therapies to the world.  We're supportive of more transparency and openness, and more debate.  As for the rest, we hope for positive change and will cover that too, even in increments, as it happens.