Corporate death factory

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Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is buying antibiotics from dirty factories in China that breed killer "superbugs" -- risking the lives of millions.

It's time this stopped. Drug companies must put public health above their corporate profits.

Sign the petition


We take medicine to get healthy. But now, our medicine could kill millions because big pharma companies like Pfizer want to make a quick profit.

The story is this:

  • Pfizer and other pharmaceutical giants source antibiotics from dirty, dangerous factories in China.
  • These factories dump raw antibiotic waste straight into the environment.
  • That creates a perfect breeding ground for antibiotic resistant "superbugs" -- which spread globally.
  • These superbugs have been called a "catastrophic threat" to public health, and could kill millions.

That's the revelation of a new SumOfUs report, which exposes big pharma's murky supply chain for the first time. We need to speak up now to get this to stop, and to put public health above corporate profits.

Sign the petition to demand that Pfizer stops buying antibiotics from polluting factories driving the rise of killer superbugs.

Months of behind-the-scenes digging into big pharma's secretive operations has revealed these links for the first time. Pfizer and others are putting their profits ahead of our health, by buying cheap antibiotics from dangerous factories with a string of serious environmental and safety violations.

These factories are dumping raw antibiotic waste straight into rivers and waterways, in breach of even China's lax environmental regulations, and creating the perfect breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant superbugs. As these superbugs spread globally, the World Health Organization is already sounding the alarm. The UK's Chief Medical Officer has called antibiotic resistance a "catastrophic threat" that could set modern health care back 200 years, and kill millions globally.

The spread of superbugs means that infectious diseases like gonorrhoea and pneumonia could become untreatable, and we could return to an era when a simple cut could kill.

Overprescription of antibiotics and widespread use in factory farms are two of the known culprits behind antibiotic resistance. But pollution generated by the massive antibiotics production industry is an overlooked hidden killer. By dumping antibiotic waste into the environment, these factories create huge breeding grounds for superbugs. Concentrations of antibiotics in polluted waterways can be as high as in the bloodstream of someone on a full strength dose of antibiotics. And these are the factories that Pfizer, McKesson, Teva and other Western pharma giants are buying from.

This isn't just a problem for China or for Pfizer customers. Modern air travel and trade mean that the rapid spread of infectious diseases is the new reality. Infectious superbugs that thrive in the waste dumped by these polluting factories in China quickly find their way into the bodies of children, adults and the elderly around the world, with fatal consequences.

The reason this happens is simple -- Pfizer and other big pharmaceutical corporations make more money by relying on cheap, mass-produced antibiotics without strong environmental and safety procedures in place. And until now, no one has known. If we can change that, by generating a global outcry, we can get big pharma to stop buying from these dangerous factories.

Click here to tell Pfizer to stop fueling the rise of killer superbugs, and take immediate action to clean up its supply chain.

This is a waste pipe from one of the factories producing antibiotics for Western pharma corporations.

antibiotic waste image

Seeing this, it's no surprise that big pharma works hard to keep their supply chain out of public view. The industry has a shocking lack of transparency given that our lives are at stake with the drugs they produce. But through painstaking work connecting the dots on the ground in China, SumOfUs' report documents hard links between Western pharma corporations and the dirtiest antibiotic factories in China. Pfizer has sourced antibiotics for human and animal use from NCPC, one of the Chinese company accused of discharging pharmaceutical waste into the environment and numerous other serious manufacturing deficiencies that put lives at risk.

It's not the first time SumOfUs has helped produce groundbreaking reporting to expose corporate misconduct. Last year, SumOfUs helped produce an investigative report that showed that big garden stores were selling "bee-friendly" plants pre-treated with bee-killing pesticides! Since then, both of the companies have committed to phase out these pesticides from their stores. Bottom line: Shining public attention on dangerous corporate practices can really work.

That's why we need to speak up now and demand better.

Sign the petition to demand that Pfizer stops buying antibiotics from polluting factories driving the rise of killer superbugs.

Thanks for all you do,

Paul, Carys, Katherine, and the rest of us

More information:

Bad Medicine: How the pharmaceutical industry is contributing to the global rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, SumOfUs report, 10 June 2015

Indian Woman Being Treated in U.S. for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, New York Times, 9 June 2015

Watch Antibiotic Resistance Surge in One Stunning Chart, Bloomberg Business, 10 June 2015

Chief Medical Officer: Resistance to antibiotics risks health 'catastrophe', Independent, 11 March 2013

SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. Please help keep SumOfUs strong byr0

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