The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most innovative and profitable industries in Canada. Sales of pharmaceuticals total 3 percent of the global market making Canada the 8th largest world market. In 2011 the manufacturing sector employed almost 27,000 people and provided 35,000 indirect jobs. Over the last 10 years employment has increased by 12 percent. Brand-name companies account for 78 percent of Canadian sales and generics account for the rest. (Statistics Canada)
Despite these good points there has always been controversy surrounding the pharmaceutical industry and whether or not these companies have our best interests in mind. This topic has been the subject of numerous books and documentaries. Jeffrey Robinson, author of Prescription Games: Money, Ego and Power inside the Global Pharmaceutical Industry , has done extensive research on the industry. He examines how drug companies have benefitted from politically motivated giveaways, how their claims that the costs of research and development are high are not true, and how their desire for ever higher profits come at the expense of real human suffering. He devotes chapters to corporate corruption of research, expensive sales strategies aimed at doctors, the growth of advertising directed at the consumer, industrial espionage and dubious charitable donations.
To read more about this industry, check out these fascinating books: