Bio-Pharmaceutical Industry

Biopharmaceutical Industry

The Biopharmaceutical Industry:

The pharmaceutical industry shares its origin with the major industries responsible for shaping western society.  The German cartel that came to be known as IG Farben and its international partnerships and patent licensing agreements formed the foundation from which the modern pharmaceutical industry and many of its products emerged.  The modern pharmaceutical industry is largely composed of multi-national corporations, however, it is the single most influential industry in shaping policy decisions in Washington.  It is responsible for 60% of lobbyists on Capitol Hill who work to ensure that the interests of pharmaceutical companies are protected in every major piece of legislation.  The industry has gone through periodic phases of extreme concentration of market power to de-concentration of power and is currently involved in another period of transformation.  Liability suits, loss of patents, and dwindling results from traditional research and development methods are causing a significant profit loss for the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical industry has responded by engaging in acquisitions and mergers that further concentrate the industry while simultaneously de-concentrating the industry by outsourcing to smaller firms for clinical trials and research and development.  The reliance of the pharmaceutical industry on biotechnology to be the source of new products to maintain industry profitability is so great that industry insiders now refer to the pharmaceutical industry as the biopharmaceutical industry.  This research topic is devoted to understanding the structure and operation of the biopharmaceutical industry and its influence and impact on national and international policy decisions.  Current subtopics are the history of the pharmaceutical industry, the market structure with an emphasis on corporate mergers and the contributions of biotechnology, and lobbying efforts of the pharmaceutical industry and its impact on legislation.

History of the Pharmaceutical Industry:

Joseph Borkin and Charles Welsh. Germany’s Master Plan: the Story of Industrial Defense. Duell, Sloan, and Pearce: NY. 1943.

Market Structure:

Martin Kenney. Biotechnology: the University-Industrial Complex.Yale University Press: New Haven. 1986. “Biotechnology in a Global Economy.” Congress of U.S. Office Technology Assessment (OTA). 1991.
Corporate Watch is a research organization devoted to supporting educational campaigns about the harmful effects of industry on communities and individuals and activist efforts to change corporate practices. Corporate Watch offers an excellent resource on the pharmaceutical industry and provides in-depth information about the history, organization, and structure of Pfizer, Bayer AG, ABPI, and GlaxoSmithKline. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America home page 2005 membership survey of PhRMA A comprehensive list of pharmaceutical products and projects being undertaken by companies listed in the database of pharmaceutical-industry. The database consists of some major pharmaceutical companies and R&D; co.s outsourced to. A website that provides executives in the biopharmaceutical and health care industry with relevant market information. A website for industry insiders. It provides international coverage of pharmaceutical technology projects in development and underway and a comprehensive list of contract and supplier companies and the products and services they provide. Articles composed by writers of, an independent news source devoted to public education, on the pharmaceutical industry.

Lobbying Efforts and Impact on Legislation:

The Center for Public Integrity is an excellent resource of objective analysis of current domestic and foreign policy issues. Its mission is to inspire an informed citizenry that will be able to demand accountability from its Government. The Center for Public Integrity has just published an in-depth report which covers the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on Washington. The report is incredibly well researched and written.