You are a food and drug inspector working with a large pharmaceutical company that produces several types of drugs for children with “behavioral” problems. It is an extremely successful company, but lately it has been riddled with lawsuits from parents claiming that their children were given drugs unnecessarily. While eating at the company lunchroom, you overhear some salespeople talking. Evidently, they are paying doctors and psychiatrists kickbacks (illegal payments) in exchange for their promise to stop prescribing drugs from other manufacturers. They are also paying doctors to falsify information that can be used in marketing and advertising materials, as well as in journal articles read by other members of the medical community. Answer the following questions:
a. What crimes appear to be taking place? How?
b. Although you are a food and drug inspector, can you get involved in this legal issue? Why or why not? If so, how? If not, how can it be resolved?
c. What additional consumer or public health issues should be addressed?