Today, the goals of pharmaceutical policy and medical practice are often undermined due to institutional corruption — that is, widespread or systemic practices, usually legal, that undermine an institution's objectives or integrity.

To address these issues, a group of lab fellows from the Edmond J. Safra Center put together a symposium of 16 articles edited by Suffolk University Law School Professor Marc A. Rodwin. The articles investigate the corruption of pharmaceutical policy, each taking a different look at the sources of corruption, how it occurs and what is corrupted.

The articles address five topics: (1) systemic problems, (2) medical research, (3) medical knowledge and practice, (4) marketing and (5) patient advocacy organizations.

The articles conclude that pharmaceutical industry's own purposes are often undermined. Furthermore, pharmaceutical industry funding of election campaigns and lobbying skews the legislative process that sets pharmaceutical policy. Moreover, certain practices have corrupted medical research, the production of medical knowledge, the practice of medicine, drug safety, the Food and Drug Administration's oversight of the pharmaceutical market, and the trustworthiness of patient advocacy organizations.

The articles are available online and will appear in the fall issue of The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. For a summary of each article and the key themes see Marc Rodwin, Institutional Corruption and Pharmaceutical Policy.