Saturday, Oct 22nd

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Health How Drug Companies Keep Medicine Out of Reach

How Drug Companies Keep Medicine Out of Reach

E-mail Print PDF

Big PharmaFor almost a decade, the United States has been standing in the way of an idea that could lead to cures for some of the world's most devastating illnesses. The class of maladies is known as neglected diseases, and they almost exclusively affect those in the developing world.

The same idea, if realized, might also be used in more affluent nations to goad the pharmaceutical industry into producing critical innovations that the free market has yet to produce - things like new antibiotics, which are likely to be used judiciously, and are unlikely to be wildly profitable.

But the idea, which advocates have outlined as a treaty, and which will have its fate decided next week at the World Health Organization (WHO) where it has languished for years amid bureaucratic tumult, is "good enough to be dangerous," in the words of one person close to the negotiations. It has thus drawn the fierce opposition of those who benefit most from the status quo, the pharmaceutical giants and the nations that claim them.

"It's a precedent. It's a competing paradigm," Jamie Love, 63, the director of Knowledge Ecology International, a progressive group agitating in favor of the idea, told me. "And the Obama administration, instead of wrapping its arms around it and trying to breathe some life into the future so we don't have $200,000 drugs, is killing it."


Most Recent Related Stories...

Americans overwhelmingly support abortion rights

Americans support abortion rightsPolitical candidates, consultants and the media generally misunderstand the politics of abortion rights. They tend to...

France to open first safe-injection room for drug addicts

safe heroin injection room opened in FranceFrance will open its first safe-injection room for drug addicts despite years of efforts by conservatives...

St. Jude warns of heart-device battery issue linked to two deaths

St. Jude'sSt. Jude Medical Inc warned on Tuesday that some of its implanted heart devices were at...

EpiPen maker Mylan to pay $465M to settle claims it overbilled Medicaid

Mylan to pay for Medicaid fraudEmbattled pharmaceutical company Mylan agreed Friday to pay nearly a half-billion dollars to settle claims that...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!