Are the world’s pharmaceutical companies heroes or villains? Pharmaceutical companies affect individuals all over the world a various amount. It could be like many of the 300 million people who live in America whose lives are greatly affected by pharmaceutical companies week in week out. Or it could be like some of the rest of the world’s population whose only interaction with pharmaceutical companies is when they buy the drugs over the counter.
There are countless debates going on about whether or not the companies are heroes or villains according to the work they do in various countries around the world. There are many people who would argue the fact that the pharmaceutical companies in the world are villains. They may declare this because the companies charge a very large amount for the branded drugs that they produce. The branded drugs can cost up to 30x more than their generic drug equivalent which would impact on the person buying the drugs especially they needed lots of different drugs.
Throughout their existence, pharmaceutical companies have focused their research into developing vaccines and medicines for diseases of affluence as this is where they are able to make the most money out of. This greatly impacts on the lives of many of the people who suffer from diseases that aren’t as a result of affluence such as HIV/Aids, TB and malaria. These people who catch these particular diseases have a very minimal chance of beating the disease as the drug companies don’t invest as much money on finding the vaccines or medicines for this disease.
Pharmaceuticals also can give themselves a bad reputation as they can bury some of the results from research that they have conducted. This means that when the companies do research into the potential effects of the drugs that they have developed and produced, they may find some evidence of potentially dangerous side effects which could harm the customers. The companies may then proceed to ‘bury’ the research so the public never gain knowledge of what the companies have found out. Branded drugs are patented by the pharmaceutical companies for a period of 20 years.
Many people in the world will firmly believe that in their eyes pharmaceutical companies will be villains forever more because of what happened eleven years ago. In 2001, More than 40 pharmaceutical companies, many of them the largest and most powerful companies in the world, took the South African government to court to try to stop it putting legislation in place which was aimed at reducing the price of medicines for the South African people. On the other hand, pharmaceutical companies also have some positive aspects to them.
For example, GlaxoSmithKline who are one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies spend ? 300,000 a minute on research and development. This helps many thousands of people around the world because not only does it create lots of jobs for scientists and researchers, it allows many vaccines and medicines to be discovered. GlaxoSmithKline as a whole employ 100,000 people over a range of 100 countries which generates income and taxes for all of the countries that they employ people in. In 2009 GlaxoSmithKline announced in a statement that over a period of the next 10 years they as a company would donate ? 0 million in an aim to help AIDS victims and help prevent the transmission of aids between a mother and her child. To conclude, there are a variety of reasons that form people’s varying opinions on pharmaceutical companies. Some of the positives are that they spend a lot of money on researching and developing new drugs and vaccinations for the diseases which plague the world, although they could spend more as they all make vast amounts of profits due to the large quantity of drugs that they sell.
Their work does prevent the spreading of diseases that occur and they provide many jobs for a lot of people around the world. The vast amount of negative things that are associated with many of the worlds pharmaceutical companies are that; they mainly focus on diseases of affluence which leaves a lot of diseases that they aren’t even trying to find vaccinations for, they can mislead customers in regards to the research they have done on the drugs they are selling and they also charge a lot of money for products when they really don’t need to.