Pharma: Improving the human situation – or making ever more money?

Businesses must grow – they must provide more money for shareholders – they must increase shareholder value. This is what it is all about – the ultimate purpose of human existence. Business thinking is straight and clear – do it. There is no alternative – it must be so.

Or should we start thinking about what we really do?

The case of medicines, drugs, treatment of sick people is fully illustrative of what is going on. Since about 1995 we have known that 90% of all medical research is targeted at the richest 10% of the world’s population. This is the 10-90 gap.

Research is also becoming global. It takes place where rules are softest and  wages are lowest. The aim of research has for a long time been to increase drug companies medicine pipeline – where profit is generated. So research is done in areas and with people that will not be using the results of the research – the finished medicines wil be used in the rich countries where the money are – the big money.

And the people developing the drugs – should they put in a bit of thinking about the system they have become part of?

The funding for this research comes from the big pharmaceutical companies – with strings attached. They do what they do for the highest possible profit, the public good is not their concern.

If you do not like what is going on, there is precious little you can do. Big pharma is a monster with tentacles everywhere – they rule the system.

So large groups of people do not get the medicines they could have. With the present system they never will.

Can this continue? Are we good people or just profitseekers? The science community think this is all right? Is it acceptable to earn a living this way?

No, we need new thinking and doing: We need independent research and drug making targeted at the needs of all people, regardless of worldly riches.

Here is an area where changes must come – the world is much bigger than big pharma profits. The human side of what we do must lead us all to a better, more balanced future. Big pharma power must be counteracted – an alternative way of developing and distributing medical care must be found. The market will not fix this. We must start working towards common/public systems where sharing, equality are the guiding principles, and new regimes of regulation found.

As usual we must all do our little bit – gradually it will all add up. Good sense will eventually prevail. A global solution perhaps?

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