Is the media biased against the pharmaceutical industry?

This report would suggest so, as it looks at evening newcasts in 2006:

The Business & Media Institute (BMI) has found a recurring network news bias against the pharmaceutical industry, treating drugs as an entitlement rather than an expensive-to create product, refusing to credit and often ignoring entirely the companies that made the medicine. Even when one new drug was hailed as a “major advance in combating breast cancer” and a “major medical breakthrough,” its manufacturer was given only a passing mention on one network.

(via a reader tip)

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  • Anonymous

    I think the media is fair, and the a few of the Pharmaceutical companies have brought this on themselves. Companies like Bausch & Lomb who have hurt thousands of people just for profit. This hurts the good companies.

  • Matthew

    I disagree strongly with the previous post. Lawsuits get HUGE play in the media, and the name of the company is hardly obscure at that point, but the lives saved and improved by these companies’ efforts, as well as the general economic advantages and employement opportunities they provide are never mentioned.

    The previous post actually does an excellent job of proving the exact point that was made by the original post. “Pharmaceutical companies” haven’t brought anything of the sort on themselves. There are (arguably) a few instances of specific companies that have allegedly committed bad acts, and the generalization made here shows just how deeply biased the media coverage is. People tend to make blanket statements like that that don’t have merit or value, and the media love it, since bad news sells, and plaintiffs attorneys love that, because the jury pool starts out with a “go after the rich, evil corporation” mindset that causes far more harm than it does good.

  • Anonymous

    I think you’re both wrong. And your own particular biases are showing.

    There is a strong media culture against being a shill, especially for a profit-making corporation.

    The division between news and advertising is also highly ingrained in the news industry. It is a line that editors and reporters are conditioned not to cross.

    Maybe this is a good thing, maybe it’s not. I don’t have the answer, I’m just saying this is how it is.

    Regarding the stereotype of rich evil corporations: Class warfare has been going on since time immemorial. The media may play on this but they did not create it.