The pharmaceutical industry consists of organizations engaged in the manufacture and sale of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications. Its key activities include research and development, product testing and trials, and the production, marketing, and distribution of pharmaceutical products approved for OTC or prescription sales. The term "Big Pharma" is used, often as a pejorative, to refer to the small group of large multinational companies that command a majority share of the global pharmaceutical market. These companies produce and market a wide range of drugs and medical devices, generating enormous profits. Many business practices unique to this group have proven controversial, including its marketing strategies, influence over product pricing, and behaviors related to the sale of opioid pain medications.
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