Contrast this lovely New York Times obituary of Kenneth Koe, "an inventor of Zoloft, the antidepressant that has helped tens of millions of people since it was introduced a quarter-century ago..a chemist who spent four decades on the staff of Pfizer" with Hillary Clinton's answer, in partial response to the question in last night's Democratic presidential debate of which enemy she is most proud of having, of "drug companies." Senator Bernie Sanders also answered the question, in part, with "the pharmaceutical industry."
I'm willing to consider the possibility that people like Dr. Koe aren't motivated primarily by profit, and that he might have discovered Zoloft if he had been employed at the government's National Institutes of Health rather than by the for-profit Pfizer. Yet when even the New York Times news department, which isn't exactly the Wall Street Journal editorial page, is willing to pause for a warm appreciation of a scientist who worked at Pfizer and who actually did something that "has helped tens of millions of people," is it really too much to ask that the Democratic Party's leading presidential candidates cease their demonization of the companies that make and market life-saving medicine?
The Times obituary concludes: "In 2008, on receiving the Howard Vollum Award for distinguished accomplishment in science and technology from Reed, Dr. Koe said that whenever he was identified in public as an inventor of Zoloft, strangers approached him to thank him."