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.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


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:

triangleBig pharma's profiteering holds back drug supply

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

Pharmaceutical:

triangleCapitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

triangleTories using pandemic to shift lab testing out of NHS

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: Why the pharmaceutical industry must be nationalised to save lives

triangleToo little too late

Africa:

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

triangleLeeds & York Socialist Party: How apartheid was ended in South Africa

triangleSouth Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign

AIDS:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Lessons from Aids for Coronavirus

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

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

5/8/20

BT

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

5/8/20

Hospital

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999