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    'Matter of Life and Death': Report Exposes Pharma Corruption in Latin America

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    A new report from London-based Transparency International exposes the sheer scale of corruption in the Latin American pharmaceutical and health care industries, which has become a "matter of life and death", Sputnik has been told.

    In its latest report, Business Principles for Promoting Integrity in the Pharmaceutical Sector in Latin America, Transparency International (TI) exposes the scale of bribery and corruption in the pharmaceutical and health care sector in Latin America.

    The report calls for the elimination of bribery and related conflicts of interest, with pharma companies "demonstrating their commitment to doing business with integrity and making a positive contribution to improving business standards of integrity, transparency and accountability."

    "Recently, health challenges such as the Zika virus and other health emergencies have shown how countries can be brought to a standstill when the industry is unable to respond due to poor governance and gaps in the supply chain caused by corruption, impacting public health," Sophie Peresson, Director of TI's Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Program told Sputnik.

    "Corruption in health care and pharmaceuticals is a matter of life and death, and therefore its ramifications can be huge for entire communities. These new Principles are another step in the helping reduce corruption in the Latin American healthcare industries and services," she told Sputnik.

    'Fearful Spread'

    Several athletes pulled out of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, fearful over the spread of the Zika virus, which many said was out of control because of a shortage of antidotes in the country.

    2016 Rio Olympics - Olympic Park - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/08/2016
    © REUTERS / Kevin Coombs
    2016 Rio Olympics - Olympic Park - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/08/2016

    The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys through a network that monitored yellow fever, which has spread from Africa to the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

    "These Principles are the result of a multi-stakeholder approach that has brought a broad range of representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and the Latin American health sector. Their involvement in this process has already demonstrated an important commitment to applying high ethical standards in the Latin American health industry. We now hope that companies throughout the industry will adopt and implement these Principles," she told Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    big pharma, Zika Virus, pharmaceutics, bribery, drugs, corruption, Transparency International, Latin America
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