Yet Another Heartwarming Tale of Corporate Virtue

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Suppose you were a manufacturer of OxyContin, and you had strong evidence that certain doctors were illegally selling huge quantities of your pills to all comers. Keith Humphreys asks, What Would You Do?

  • (A) Report these doctors to the authorities?
  • (B) Insulate yourself by not sending your representatives to these doctors anymore, but continue to pocket the huge profits they generate from writing countless prescriptions for your products?
  • (C) Keep a secret list of these doctors but publicly promote the idea that painkiller abuse is not driven by wayward doctors but by other sources, such as pharmaceutical robberies?
  • (D) Reveal the list of doctors to authorities years later only because at that point it could stop a competitor from introducing a new generic medication that might cut into your own sales?
  • (E) A combination of B, C and D, but certainly not A.

You’ve already guessed the answer, haven’t you? I can’t put anything over on you guys. Click the link if you want the gory details.

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If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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