John Oliver: Big Pharma Is Like Your High School Boyfriend, Only Concerned with “Getting Inside You”


Following a three-month hiatus, John Oliver has returned with a brilliant takedown against pharmaceutical companies and the billions of dollars executives pump into peddling drugs to doctors around the country.

“Drug companies are a bit like high school boyfriends,” Oliver explained on Last Week Tonight. “They’re much more concerned with getting inside of you than being effective once they’re in there.”

According to one report referenced on Sunday’s show, nine out of ten drug companies allocate significantly more on marketing than actual scientific research–a practice Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently announced she is working to reverse. Much of the money is spent on attractive representatives, many of whom are clueless to the products they’re selling, to push the drugs. Some reps even dangle complimentary meals to persuade doctors into cashing in.

“If Charlie Manson brought me a free lunch everyday, I’d at least listen to his sales pitch on forehead swastikas.”

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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