The main aim of this essay is to discuss if profiteering is justified through patents in regards to the pharmaceutical industry.
This behavioural economics so we need to make an opinion if consumers are being exploited through patents or is patents helping to create incentives and in reality
creating more helpful drugs.
Are pharmaceutical firms exploiting consumers because of their dependency, willingness to pay and lack of knowledge about their own condition – are they using patents
as a means to profiteer.
Structure provided and notes can be used but reworded or ideas can be taken.
– Consumers are not rational we don’t know what’s best for us regarding health and we will never know. Science is always evolving not so long ago we thought
…………. Which changed to…………. (an example to show science changes so are belief of what may be true alters – cracking knuckles gives arthritis). (small introduction)
Are patents the most efficient form of rewards for drug company? Advantages and disadvantages
We have to consider the clear advantages.
It creates incentive – To make the unknown known there needs to be incentive. We are self-maximizing agents.
If losses count as double (loss aversion) no one would create these drugs if there was no personal gain
To make the unknown known you have to research the unknown and this can clearly lead to know where but also can lead to great advancements in medical development.
Between 1940 and 1960, infectious diseases as a cause of death continued to decline. But more of this decline was attributable to medical factors, such as the use of
penicillin, sulfa drugs (discovered in 1935), and other antibiotics.
Increasingly, mortality reductions are attributed to medical care, including high tech medical treatment, and not to social or environmental improvements.
We are seeing results for the general numbers
No because of the disadvantages
– Playing god choosing who lives and who dies
– inflated pricing out the drugs for majority of the people who need them to survive
– human life losses value is when it is compared to the lives of other humans
– new medicines is too high, causing more harm than good overall- diverting money from other patient services
High pricing means it is difficult for everyone to get the treatment they need. Patent laws prevent access to drugs to everyone. This means drugs cannot be afforded
nor cannot produce the correct quantities. Essentially playing god on who lives and who dies.
“However, regions such as Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe still have extremely poor coverage, with at best only one in ten Africans and one in seven Asians who require
HAART having access to any treatment at all” Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy
AIDS claimed the lives of 3.1 million people, mainly because they could not afford treatment
Twenty-five years of HIV management – J R Soc Med. 2007 Aug; 100(8): 363–366.
Fatal diseases are claiming the lives of a number
Most of the people here with HIV are from poor backgrounds, and unemployed. Even if the drugs are sold at US$100 a year, the unemployed couldn’t buy them.”
It is apparent that for these pharmaceutical companies who withhold strong patent laws, the priority is securing huge profits, not public health.
compulsory licensing. In 1997, Brazil issued a law to produce its own generic HIV/AIDS medication to control the mounting AIDS crisis that was crippling the country’s
population. This enabled the country to provide its AIDS victims with free treatment; the result was a hopeful reduction in the country’s mortality rate by half and a
decrease in hospitalization by 80% (Cheng, par 19). In spite of these health benefits, pharmaceutical companies swayed the US to impose trade sanctions and put Brazil
on the ‘Trade Watch List’. More recently, Brazil has once again threatened to make use of compulsory licensing and produce its own anti-AIDS drugs if the prices of
patented HIV/AIDS drugs remain high: “The cost has got to go down so we can treat the patients. If the price remains high, we’ll start producing or importing the
drugs,” said Marcia Lage of the Brazilian Health Ministry’s AIDS division (Clendenning, par
slows down the process of delivering drugs to endemic nations because negotiations have to be made by both the importing and exporting nation on a drug-to-drug basis.
The profit-driven objectives of multinational pharmaceutical companies are clear, and without a shift to needs-driven research and development of drugs that are
necessary to treat fatal diseases, millions of people in disease-ridden developing nations will go untreated.
seven companies admitted to having spent less than 1% of their research and development budget on fatal tropical diseases, and nothing on three of the most critical
tropical ailments in Africa
Roy Vagelos, the former head of Merck, a pharmaceutical monopoly that controls 10% of the world’s pharmaceutical market, told The Nation that, “A corporation with
stockholders can’t stock up a laboratory that will focus on Third World diseases, because it will go broke” (Martorell, par 19
“Even if you have a drug that is effective, it really sometimes comes down to the economics of it. If it’s going to cost you way more than what a person can afford,
they’re not going to be able to manufacture it,” Ross said. “There won’t be a market for it.”
drug companies have had virtually no financial incentive to spend millions of dollars on medicines and inoculations for so few people — especially people who lack the
means to pay for it.
“There’s nothing magical about getting a drug or a vaccine for Ebola. We likely would’ve had it years ago if there were major investments on the part of a company,”
said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. “The scientific
challenges are not profound.”
“We are certainly not at the beginning of these developments, but we’re probably still realistically somewhere between five and 10 years away from having something
that’s on the market,” said Ted Ross, program director for vaccines and viral immunity at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida in Port Saint Lucie.
Pareto efficiency Limited resources Playing god choosing who lives and who dies.
These prices are unconscionable, and unsustainable.
On top of skyrocketing prices consumers are also overwhelmed with ALL of those pharmaceutical ads on television.
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