As a scientist sitting at the border of both, this questions up many times in many ways with many different people.
“The love of money is the root of all evil.”
Unfortunately, academia has not escaped the same problems.
My initial reaction is, “Which is better at what?”.
I would say that Big Pharma is better at finding drug targets and focusing on solutions to clinical problems. However, Big Pharma is not set up for doing basic science research, or at least they don’t seem to be. Academia would also be better at finding treatments for diseases that Big Pharma may not find profitable. There has also been an increase in money flowing from Big Pharma to basic science researchers, especially in cases where animals models developed by basic science researchers can be used to test new drugs.
As the article notes, neither group is innocent of wrongdoing. Fraud and corruption are going to be a part of any human endeavour, unfortunately.
Drugs to cure ulcers? H.pylori.
I find the industry to be better with regard to health and safety, managing toxic personalities, and adhering to codes of conduct. At the executive level, all bets are off but that’s something that affects both academia and industry. I’ve seen stuff during my academic years that would give corporate HR departments the vapors.