Combating Malevolence

Whatever the entertainment and artistic merits of the movie "The Constant Gardener," released at the end of last month, the pharmaceutical industry could do without it.

Richard Gallagher(rgallagher@the-scientist.com)
Sep 11, 2005

Whatever the entertainment and artistic merits of the movie "The Constant Gardener," released at the end of last month, the pharmaceutical industry could do without it. A bit of a departure for John Le Carré, the author of the book the movie is based on, it substitutes a villainous pharma industry for the KGB/CIA. Even KVH, the company's three-letter acronym – a sure sign of a bad guy – is retained. KVH has a problem: its tuberculosis drug has side effects that are preventing approval in the West, so it turns to Africa to try to iron out the kinks. Villagers serve as unwilling human guinea pigs, with appalling consequences. For my view of the movie, see http://media.the-scientist.com/blog/display/1/92.

The pharmaceutical industry is quickly becoming a pariah. We're not shy about criticizing drug companies in these pages, as we've noted the failure to publish negative clinical trial results and the...