Immunity and Impunity: Corruption in the State-Pharma Nexus
Critical criminology repeatedly has drawn attention to the state-corporate nexus as a site of corruption and other forms of criminality, a scenario exacerbated by the intensification of neoliberalism in areas such as health. The state-pharmaceutical relationship, which increasingly influences health policy, is no exception. That is especially so when pharmaceutical products such as vaccines, a burgeoning sector of the industry, are mandated in direct violation of the principle of informed consent. Such policies have provoked suspicion and dissent as critics question the integrity of the state-pharma alliance and its impact on vaccine safety. However, rather than encouraging open debate, draconian modes of governance have been implemented to repress and silence any form of criticism, thereby protecting the activities of the state and pharmaceutical industry from independent scrutiny. The article examines this relationship in the context of recent legislation in Australia to intensify its mandatory regime around vaccines. It argues that attempts to undermine freedom of speech, and to systematically excoriate those who criticise or dissent from mandatory vaccine programs, function as a corrupting process and, by extension, serve to provoke the notion that corruption does indeed exist within the state-pharma alliance.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Please see our Creative Commons page for more details. Authors are encouraged to post their work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See the benefits of Open Access).