(TargetLiberty.org) – Pharmaceutical companies rarely find themselves in the headlines, and when they do, it can be a mixed blessing. The industry hit a major high point when it was able to do the unimaginable — develop a vaccine for COVID-19 in less than a year. Then, they were able to get the vaccines distributed nationwide with relatively few hitches.
When pharmaceutical companies hit the news in a bad way, it tends to be intense. You probably remember “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli scalping people with his insanely inflated life-saving drug prices a few years ago. Karma eventually caught up with him, and he’s currently serving a lengthy prison term at Sing-Sing.
Human error at an Emergent BioSolutions facility led to an ingredient mix-up and 15 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine had to be scrapped. Fortunately, the nation had an adequate supply of other vaccines on hand.
A new potential pharmaceutical scandal has arisen concerning COVID-19.
Pharmaceutical Company Hit With Staff Accusations
On May 5, Reuters reported that employees of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. accused one of its factories of altering documents as part of an alleged scheme to fool government regulators.
According to the anonymous workers, a company executive tried to downplay major quality-control issues at a manufacturing facility producing a treatment for COVID-19 patients.
Reuters reviewed an unsigned report filed in early April using the company’s employee complaint system. The complaint alleges a company executive doctored the findings of a report written by technical experts at the facility.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was already investigating operations at that location. The company official reportedly altered the document to make the experts’ conclusions look more favorable to Eli Lilly & Co.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed it had received the complaint when contacted by Reuters. It said an investigation is currently underway. The outcome will determine what actions the company will take next.
The FDA declined to respond directly to questions about the complaint. It did say, “the agency takes the safety and quality of [FDA approved] products seriously.”
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