Pharmanomics : How Big Pharma Destroys Global Health by Nick Dearden

Pharmanomics : How Big Pharma Destroys Global Health by Nick Dearden

Investigative journalist Nick Dearden delves into the manner in which our medicines are produced and uncovers a startling truth: Big Pharma is failing us, leading to dire consequences. The primary concern of Big Pharma lies in maximizing profit, rather than prioritizing public health. This fact was clearly demonstrated when governments hurriedly developed Covid vaccines. Behind the facade of scientific breakthroughs, major pharmaceutical companies devised new methods to extract billions from Western governments, all while neglecting the Global South. Nevertheless, this serves as just the most recent chapter in the ongoing saga of monetizing medicine. From Purdue’s aggressive promotion of highly addictive OxyContin, to Martin Shkreli’s exorbitant price hike on a life-saving drug, to the 4.5 million South Africans unjustly denied HIV/AIDS medication, the history is extensive.

Since the 1990s, Big Pharma has striven to safeguard its interests through the patent system. Consequently, the industry has shifted its focus from researching innovative medicines to establishing monopolies. This approach has contributed to a restructuring of our economy, diverting attention from invention and production in favor of benefiting financial markets. As a result, the relationship between wealthier and poorer nations has been fundamentally altered, as the access to new medicines and the authorization to manufacture them are vigilantly controlled. In response, Dearden presents a roadmap towards a more equitable and secure system that benefits all.

The Cost Crisis: Big Pharma and Global Health

The skyrocketing costs of medicines in the pharmaceutical industry have reached an unsustainable level, necessitating a change. Even wealthy health services are balking at the exorbitant prices charged for drugs. This has resulted in situations where the NHS either refuses to provide certain medications or offers them on a limited basis. In some cases, a single course of treatment can cost around £100,000 per patient, which is staggering.

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