The Merck hit list story shows us how crony capitalism degrades business. The new way of succeeding in business is to get in bed with government. Then you have a textbook “protection racket” to continue growing, and lock-out competition.
According to CBS Market Watch, “Merck Created Hit List to ‘Destroy,’ ‘Neutralize,’ or ‘Discredit’ Dissenting Doctors.”
Merck made a “hit list” of doctors who criticized Vioxx, according to testimony in a Vioxx class action case in Australia. The list, emailed between Merck employees, contained doctors’ names with the labels “neutralise,” “neutralised” or “discredit” next to them.
According to The Australian, Merck emails from 1999 showed company execs complaining about doctors who disliked using Vioxx. One email said:
We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live …
They quote from the Australian reporting on a letter sent by James Fries, professor of medicine at Stanford University, to the then Merck head Ray Gilmartin in October 2000:
“Even worse were allegations of Merck damage control by intimidation,” he wrote, … “This has happened to at least eight (clinical) investigators … I suppose I was mildly threatened myself but I never have spoken or written on these issues.”
This is, of course, just another abuse that Merck has committed.
The allegations come on the heels of revelations that Merck created a fake medical journal — the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine — in which to publish studies about Vioxx; had pop songs commissioned about Vioxx to inspire its staff, and paid ghostwriters to draft articles about the drug.
When government becomes a tool of business, you’re on the road to perdition. Behold the Almighty Merck—textbook Big Pharma—seeking to “destroy” those who won’t help fatten their bottom-line.
This is why government is to be a defender of justice, and a provider of defense against criminals within and without the nation, and nothing more. When you allow your rulers to expand the scope of their authority, criminals move within government itself, and it’s only a matter of time before economic collapse, and the loss of freedom.
Big business loves the welfare state, because it allows them to lock in guaranteed contracts, government protection, and a cultural mentality that government is a “provider.” At that point, they throw off welfare crumbs to the ignorant masses to get their votes, and reap gargantuan paydays for themselves, and for big business patrons.