The average Japanese woman will live to 84, while in some parts of Africa it is less than 40 e.g. Botswana
If you are born in a rich country, you can expect to live a longer life than your parents. In the last 200 years life span has doubled. Science has eradicated diseases which once devastated populations in the past. Cholera, TB and Diarrhoea once common are now very rare in the rich countries.
During the Roman Empire expectancy was about 20 years, in the Middle Ages 33 years, the Black Death killed quarter of the European population. It is only during the industrial revolution, that life expectancy improved dramatically. Clean water and sanitation made life much better for the population and TB and Cholera which were an ever present menace became less visible.
Antibiotics and hygiene reduced the number of women dying in childbirth. So you must ask yourself with so many advances why are so many people dying from simple treatable diseases, especially in Africa. Aids has ruined many African communities. In Sierra Leone 157 babies will die before reaching their first birthday (1).Unicef estimates 150 million children are malnourished (2)
So what is to be done about this? The price of medicines is very kept very high so that many poor countries are unable to buy them. The world of medicines is dominated by big Pharma with less than 12 Corporations producing most of the world’s drugs. Through their use of patents and other rules and regulations they are able extort high profits at the cost of many lives in poor countries, this is not our concept of the Good Society.
India which is the world’s leader in producing cheap generic medicines has had to increase the price of its medicines by up to a third, because Western big pharmacy has put pressure through lobbying of their respective governments to force the Indians to put up prices. Big Pharma does not like competition. The U.K national health care system is regularly ripped off by Big Pharma,this is odd when you consider the buying power of the NHS,it should get the best medicines at the cheapest price(we will discuss later the British NHS at later date)
Big Pharma now uses two evils to deter competitors, (1) product patent which we are familiar with and (2) Process patent which if anyone is able to find a new different, cheaper way of producing a drug they will not be able to sell at a cheaper price. This means more people will die in poorer countries
In the good society everyone should has access to at least basic health care. Poor countries should be allowed under licence if necessary, to be able to produce basic medicines for their population or Big Pharma should subsidize or at a sell lower cost .
Some of you might think we are idealistic, think for one moment, how you would feel if your child dies because you cannot afford $1 dollar for Diarrhoea medicine which cost cents to produce.
Big Pharma motto is
Good Medicine is that which produces maximum profit even if does not work
Bad Medicine is that which works but does not produce extortionate profit for us
Medicine is only about curing people, if it makes extortionate profits for us
We Big Pharma invest millions in advertising our noble aspirations to cure humanity, while hiding the true motives is to extort as much money,(while offering shoddy goods which may or may not work). We extort from governments, health care systems, the general population, and who ever strays into our path.
We are too big to be regulated by any one government, we have the legal means to bankrupt anyone who takes us on including governments, human rights organizations, individuals, and the Medical Profession and we have a proven track record of doing so
We will continue to extort money for medicines which should cost a lot less. As a result of our business model millions of people will continue to die in poor countries, because they cannot afford our overpriced medicines and will be denied basic healthcare which is a Human Right in our concept of the Good Society.
May those who die because of the above, men, women and especially children rest in peace and may God bless their souls, for they were not the ones chosen by Big Pharma to live.
Signed for and on Behalf of Big Pharma
Book by: Jessica Williams: 50 Facts that should change the world. Published by icon books.2004 edition (available from Amazon.co.uk)
References (1) page 5
(2) Page 5