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Photo credit: Prasesh Shiwakoti (Lomash) via Unsplash

As long as our legislative system, public health agencies, physicians and research journals accept money from pharmaceutical manufacturers, and our justice system keeps letting drug companies off the hook when their negligence causes harm, there’s no reason for Big Pharma to change.

Rebecca Strong's avatarAfter graduating from Columbia University with a chemical engineering degree, my grandfather went on to work for Pfizer for almost two decades, culminating his career as the company’s global director of new products.

I was rather proud of this fact growing up — it felt as if this father figure, who raised me for several years during my childhood, had somehow played a role in saving lives.

But in recent years, my perspective on Pfizer — and other companies in its class — has shifted.

Blame it on the insidious Big Pharma corruption laid bare by whistleblowers in recent years. Blame it on the endless string of Big Pharma lawsuits revealing fraud, deception and cover-ups. Blame it on the fact that I witnessed some of their most profitable drugs ruin the lives of those I love most.

All I know is, that pride I once felt has been overshadowed by a sticky skepticism I just can’t seem to shake. …