Apr 24, 2006

Big Pharma and the AIDS Epidemic

Big Pharma sucks. From Reuters:
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Researchers are closing in on a breakthrough microbicide gel to help prevent HIV infection in women, scientists said on Monday, but a lack of funding by major pharmaceutical companies is hampering research.
I know Big Pharma is concerned with generating profits, and that the HIV drug industry translates into big bucks for them. But if researchers are on the verge of coming up with an effective pre-emptive barrier to the infection, how can this be a bad thing? There’s certainly money to be made there, right? And in the Bush era favoring pre-emptive anything, I mean ... c’mon.

How can these people go to bed at night, knowing that they are willingly putting a damper on progress in fighting this epidemic? And if this is a step toward slowing down the spread of HIV and AIDS in Africa – not to mention the worldwide implications – why not just do it? I’d think being hailed as a hero – rather than the evil, greedy villain – would be favorable.

I mean, if we were to think like a big corporation here, why wouldn't they want to capitalize on the awesome PR opportunities?

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Mags, you should read the book The Truth About the Drug Companies, written by a former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. In it she reveals that, out of all of the nations who are a part of the World Trade Organization, only the United States of America opposes a price cap on vital, life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs sold to third world countries. We have the distinction yet again of going it alone, and it speaks volumes about what we stand for.