Donald Light

Lightning Rounds I - Ending Institutional Corruption

"Implementation of Blinded Expert Review in Radiology Malpractice Litigation"
Jeffrey Robinson, Assistant Professor of Radiology, University of Washington; President, Cleareview

"Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform"
Robert Whitaker, freelance journalist
Lisa Cosgrove, Clinical Psychologist and Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston

"Rootstriking Pharmaceutical Corruption of Research, Medical Knowledge, and Practice"
Donald Light

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New Prescription Drugs: A Major Health Risk With Few Offsetting Advantages

by Donald W. Light

Few people know that new prescription drugs have a 1 in 5 chance of causing serious reactions after they have been approved. That is why expert physicians recommend not taking new drugs for at least five years unless patients have first tried better-established options, and have the need to do so. Read more about New Prescription Drugs: A Major Health Risk With Few Offsetting Advantages

Donald Light — The Pharmaceutical Industry, Institutional Corruption, and an Epidemic of Harms

The October 3, 2012 Lab seminar was presented by Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow, Professor Donald W. Light, whose research focuses on how institutional bias has led to an epidemic of harmful side effects in new drugs. In his recent work, Professor Light has been investigating the ways in which Big Pharma corrupts the research and development process, clinical trials, marketing, and prescribing of drugs. In the context of his ongoing investigation of the pharmaceutical industry,

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WP 02. March 21, 2013

Donald W. Light, Strengthening the Theory of Institutional Corruptions: Broadening, Clarifying, and Measuring

Spiraling Prices for Cancer and Specialty Drugs

by Donald W. Light

Pharmaceutical companies sometimes charge so much for cancer drugs that even insured patients cannot afford their 20 percent co-payments—on what can be $100,000/year medicines. Sometimes, in order to pay for cancer drugs, patients stop taking other vital drugs, or cut back on food. This is a major concern for Hagop Kantarjian, Chief of Leukemia and full professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

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Systematic Evidence of Less-Than-Truthful Commercial Free Speech That Harms Citizens

by Donald W. Light

In U.S. vs. Alfred Caronia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit concluded that criminalizing the promotion of off-label uses of pharmaceuticals—that is, for purposes not approved by the Food and Drug Administration—amounted to an unconstitutional restriction on free speech. The court did not comment on evidence that Caronia had been untruthful in promoting a narcolepsy drug for the treatment of fibromyalgia and for patients under the age of 16. 

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Corrupting Practices Harm Patients

by Donald W. Light

In just a few months, the countervailing powers of academics, researchers, and the British medical profession have mounted the final campaign against the corrupting practices of hiding negative trial results that earned prominent attention recently in The New York Times.  Led by Peter Doshi and Ben Goldacre, the campaign includes formal endorsement by the British Medical Association, the Medical Research Council, and the editorial boards of three of the world’s leading medical journals. Thirty years of distorting medical knowledge and clinical guidelines seem to be ending; but imagine the difference if the AMA, the IOM and the NEJM joined them.

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Institutional Corruption: Linking and Learning from Regulatory Capture

by Donald W. Light

This is the third is a set of blogs devoted to strengthening the concept and theory of institutional corruption (IC). A previous blog urged that IC would be greatly strengthened by drawing on moral philosophy to establish a normative, external foundation for both defining when IC is occurring and for developing legitimate reforms for institutional integrity.

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Institutional Corruption and Countervailing Powers

by Donald W. Light

By its very nature, institutional corruption (IC) occurs in a force-field of countervailing powers. Corruption at the organizational or institutional levels inherently involves a larger constellation of stakeholders who participate in or are affected by the corruption being studied. Beyond them are other parties with other priorities who shape or are affected by different forms of corruption. These include public opinion and trust if its deterioration leads to organized responses. Doing research on how countervailing powers interact with the corruptors and shape either the forms of corruption or reforms for integrity to end it would strengthen IC studies.

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Synergies Between Moral Philosophy and Institutional Corruption

by Donald W. Light

The felicitous occasion of Michael Sandel delivering the inaugural Kissel Lecture in Ethics on behalf of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics provides a fit opportunity to advocate for the synergies that can occur by joining moral philosophy with institutional corruption theory in a sustained, mutually beneficial dialogue.

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Demythologizing Corrupted Facts and Claims by Big Pharma

by Donald W. Light

A few months ago, I co-authored with Dr. Joel Lexchin an article in the British Medical Journal showing that only about 10 percent of new drug products fit the industry’s claim to develop clinically superior drugs to make patients healthier.1 About 90 percent of the time, companies use patent protection from normal price competition for monopoly pricing to develop minor variations rather than serious innovations. This constitutes a hidden business model they do not discuss.

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