Career Advice

I’m tempted to advise my kids to get business degrees and go into the pharmaceutical industry. It’s a great opportunity—you can raise the price of drugs essential for an infant to remain alive 18,000%. You can buy out competitors. You can change formularies so no patients get what they need. You can buy companies strictly so you can own their patents and cut off competition.

What a great way to work towards riches! What a great opportunity to steal from the sick and give to the rich.

If he were in the industry, Vito Corleone’s response might be, “Why have you come to beg for prescription drugs for your child on the day of my daughter’s wedding?” Then he’d send Luca Brasi to take care of both the parent and child.

No, wait, the Godfather actually wouldn’t—only modern pharmaceutical companies would do that—if they could. (Can they?)

When there is a situation in which the Godfather appears as a paragon of virtue compared to the pharmaceutical companies, maybe I should recommend my children place doing good above doing well and seek employment elsewhere.

Hmmmm, what if someone made big Pharma an offer they couldn’t refuse and everyone could get the drugs they needed with a reasonable, but not obscene profit?

Don Corleone might say, “I’m honored to be godfather to your child, and I’m happy that your child is healthy. It is my hope and my wish that no one stands in the way of your child’s health and welfare.”

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