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Pharmaceutical Companies Stand In The Way Of Treatment

3821 words - 15 pages

Pharmaceutical Companies Stand in the Way of Treatment


This casebook concentrates on the negative effects that the pharmaceutical industry’s trade and production policies have on third world nations suffering from disease epidemics. My position is that pharmaceutical companies are not concerned with the health benefits of their drugs, but rather with the market that their drugs generate. I illustrate this notion by describing the trade policies that pharmaceutical companies influence and the pharmaceutical companies’ production policies which concentrate on producing life-style drugs rather than drugs that cure life-threatening diseases.
Multinational pharmaceutical giants are occupied with producing drugs that yield the most profits rather than with producing drugs to cure life-threatening diseases. Though many people in third world countries suffer from curable or treatable infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, many of them go without treatment because the vaccines that cure these diseases are either too expensive for them to afford or they are not produced in sufficient quantities. To illustrate the down-production of necessary life-sustaining drugs is the fact that “between 1975 and 1999, 1,393 new drugs were marketed, out of which only 16 were for neglected diseases that accounted for over 10% of the diseases in the World” (Médecins Sans Frontières). The Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders or MSF) is a non-profit organization that has contributed much aid and effort in alleviating populations suffering from endemic diseases and neglect. Because it is a non-profit organization and its goals are purely objective and humanitarian, the Médecins Sans Frontières organization serves as a reliable source of information.

Many drug companies claim that the tremendous profits that they accumulate help pay for the research and development in producing new drugs. But this is not necessarily true. Western governments are usually generous about funding drug industry research. These governments also allow the drug companies to market discoveries and new drugs that are produced in government and university laboratories. The most expensive aspect of producing a drug is the pre-clinical research, which is performed by the government and universities, not the drug companies.

The Academic Search Premier on the Penrose Library website was the most useful research tool. Since this casebook topic covers an international concern that is current and at stasis, it was necessary to use current journal articles in attaining reliable and up to date information. The process of inquiry and acquiring information about this topic delineated the necessity of examining several different sources and being a critical reader. In analyzing different sources of information, it was crucial to note the validity and reliability of the source; many times it was useful to analyze both sides of an issue in...

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