Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/193/8103

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2001

Drugs giants scramble for profits

THIS WEEK, two competing journals claimed they'd revealed the entire genetic code of a human.

Roger Shrives

This genome map could potentially lead to new breakthroughs in the treatment of life-threatening illnesses and help people lead a longer, higher quality life.

A future article will look at the discovery's significance. But, unfortunately big business will aim to control this breakthrough as they already control the pharmaceutical industry. Big business interests will be more concerned with making billions of pounds profit than in medical science.

Millions of people in the ex-colonial world are still dying as a result of illnesses such as meningitis, tuberculosis and malaria. Why is this? Because multinational pharmaceutical firms charge health services in the ex-colonial world so much for their drugs.

42 top pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline are bringing a court case against the South African government over drugs which control or ameliorate Aids. Around three-quarters of the 34 million people worldwide with the HIV virus, which causes Aids, live in sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa's government buys and manufactures cheap generic drugs which cost about one-tenth as much as health services pay in the West.

The pharmaceutical giants want to protect their profits. If Third-World countries could get cheaper drugs, it could push down profits in their huge markets in North America, Japan and Europe.

The World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (Trips) insists that WTO member states put the rights of patent holders (overwhelmingly rich companies in wealthy countries) above those of the sick. If not they face trade sanctions.

Who helped draft the Trips agreement? The pharmaceutical giants. They're backed up by George W Bush's Republican government who received 70% of the drugs giants' huge $24 million political war chest.

Lobbying from the US drug industry (which makes an incredible 36% return on investment) makes sure that the US government puts its interests ahead of those of the Third World's sick and dying

We say bring the pharmaceutical industry and scientific research into public ownership worldwide to make sure the race for profit doesn't wreck the genome project as it threatens to wreck the world's access to vital drugs.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 16 February 2001:

"BOG OFF" BLAIR

STUDENTS FIGHT FEES

Education - Labour's Year Zero

Drugs giants scramble for profits

Sellafield's lethal gas

Scottish Socialists weigh up ambitious plans

Arrests at Faslane's big blockade

Socialist ideas and organisation for the 21st century

Israeli election: A new period of insecurity


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 February 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Drugs:

triangleEnd profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

triangleAnger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

triangleNationalise big pharma: end this profit-driven NHS crisis

triangleBig drugs companies dodge 3 billion pounds in tax

triangleSave our NHS

Pharmaceutical:

triangle300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

triangleCash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

triangleBlood transfusion scandal

triangleNew Ebola threat

Africa:

triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

triangleViolence against women in South Africa

triangleSouth Africa: Xenophobic violence - a product of failed capitalist policies

AIDS:

triangle30 years on from Section 28: the legacy of fighting LGBT+ attacks must continue

triangleVital depiction of fight for Aids prevention and treatment

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

11/12/19

Walthamstow

Avenue of trees saved!

11/12/19

Podcasts

Latest podcasts

11/12/19

Carmarthenshire

Undervalued gritters to walk out

10/12/19

Socialist Party

Come and discuss with us after the election

10/12/19

Usdaw

The Activist Issue 82 - for retail workers

10/12/19

Morrisons

Pay Deal: ACAS sides with management - a missed opportunity to fight

9/12/19

Swansea

Swansea: Corbyn rally attracts turnout but many can't get in

4/12/19

Socialist Party

Fight for your future - join the socialists

4/12/19

UCU

Strikes: more determined than ever

4/12/19

Socialist Students

Students and workers united in struggle

4/12/19

South Western Railway

It's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

4/12/19

Surrey

Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

4/12/19

Hull

Social workers lobby Hull City Council

4/12/19

Climate change

Climate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

4/12/19

Socialist Party

Why I joined: "Proud to be a socialist"

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999