Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ethical Pharmaceuticals

On my travels around the inter-blogo'shpere I come across a lot of rubbish but now and again random scatter-shot Google searches bring up something that can inspire me to get off my arse and blog. I look at early posts on this blog and I forgot how opinionated and passionate I used to be about politics and current affairs, recently I only seem to have written about how heavy my last night out was or some song I found that I liked. Since leaving uni I seem to have developed a generally apathy to the current state of the world, an insular attitude I hope to change in near future starting with this article I found from January this year on "Ethical Pharmaceuticals".

Two Indian researchers have found a way to beat the patents of the massive multi-national pharmaceutical companies by subtly altering the chemical make up of know drugs to produce the same effects from what is essentially a new drug. As the research costs are low the cost of developing the drug is minuet compared to those of the big drug companies and so cost to the end user is dramatically smaller. This is just what the developing world needs, but also just what our NHS needs. Drug costs and the postcode lottery are crippling the Health Service and research like this could save a system that is in real danger of collapse within the next decade. Of course the article mentions that the big drug companies don't like the idea of this one bit and have their armies of lawyers ready to destroy those well-meaning few who threaten their massive profits!

One industry insider envisaged legal challenges if the new drugs were not genuinely innovative. It could become "a huge intellectual property issue", he said.


Huge interllectuall property issue! What about about a huge bonus for the all the sick and dying in the world! This really got me pissed off at the general state of the capitalist world. It is great to see academics taking hold of their research and saying that they don't want it to make loads of money, they want it to help people. Lord knows the poor of Africa and the developing world don't give a flying monkey turd about the profits of GalxoSmithKline and whether their shareholders can by another Merc or BMW this year, they care about weather their son will see the morning. It seems crazy to me how an industry whose end user is the sick and the dying are purely profit driven, I think we have reached a point now where the end product is irrelevant, not just in pharmaceuticals but in most business in the Western world, all that matters is units sold and shares traded. It is a self perpetuating systems that seems almost completely virtual and closed off from the real world, systems like that cannot last in my opinion because they increasingly cut the poorest people out of the loop and eventually there will so few inside the loop that collapse is inevitable. I just hope they take as few as possible with them when the Ivory tower comes crashing down.

Honestly I am not a communist, but capitalism scares me.
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