Even the worst problems fade from memory rapidly outside the company, but of course, haunt those inside it. Don't believe
me? See if you know the answers to this quick test:
1 Which leading biotech company used to be owned by the Vatican and then by a notorious fraudster?
2 Which global company was at the center of a storm five years ago for running a vaccine trial among conscripts to the Nepali
Army (they say with informed consent; various NGOs say without)?
3 Two years ago, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation took out a full-page ad calling for a boycott of one high-profile company's
HIV products—which company?
4 This year, a major multinational company received a "Shame" Award at the Davos World Economic Forum for having run a clinical
trial in transplant patients, some of whom are alleged to have received organs from executed prisoners. Who was the prize
If you knew more than one answer, I'm ready to concede that some of these programs might be worth doing. But I will bet for
most of you, these stories were forgotten before the newspapers carrying them had even made it to the recycling bin.
1 Serono—now part of Merck Serono. It was owned by the Catholic Church in the 60s and by international fraudster Michel "The
Shark" Sindona in the 70s. It went on to become a leader in fertility treatments, among other fields. http://bit.ly/bctaAS
2 GlaxoSmithKline. http://bit.ly/b4xNKx
3 Cipla—The Indian government began an investigation and CIPLA, much to AHF's delight, threatened to sue them thus giving the
story global legs.
4 And remember the numerous Economist double-page spreads? Well, just in case you're thinking of footing the bill for an expensive corporate presence campaign
from your ad agency. Pfizer was the company who bought them all. Surely you read them?