The pharmaceutical industry can feel a bit overwhelming. "Big Pharma" literally makes billions of dollars a year supplying Americans with medications. It's also quite disturbing to think about the idea that the pharmaceutical industry is more focused on money-making than the well-being of human beings– just a thought.
But seriously, if that thought doesn't scare you, then maybe this article will. A recent article for the opinion section of Bloomberg goes into excruciating detail about how pharmaceutical corporations aren't necessarily concerned with curing diseases. With cartoon-like dollar signs in their eyes, the primary focus is instead "the best patents, not the best drugs."
The piece focuses on Hepatitis C and how curing a disease isn't lucrative for pharmaceutical companies. Disheartening? Yes.
The article begins with comparing what the world looks like now versus what it did when the polio vaccine was discovered.
For patients and doctors, a cure is the holy grail of drug discovery 💊 But for Wall Street and Big Pharma, the inc… https://t.co/xzrRJY9Jk3— Bloomberg Opinion (@Bloomberg Opinion)1543342013.0
Polio, which was easily transmitted, caused paralysis and affected many young children.So yeah, that seems like a parent's absolute worst nightmare. You're glad to be living in 2018, right?
Luckily, a man named Jonas Salk created a vaccine to prevent polio.Salk worked on flu vaccines during World War II and then moved on to focusing on a drug that could prevent polio specifically. Cut to 1953, when he announced via radio that he had done it! After it was proven that it worked, America had a national inoculation program that was paid for by the federal government.
One would think that if you were the person who invented a vaccine that prevented a horrible disease, you'd be rolling in the money.As the ever-relevant Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Rec would say, you'd be, "Flush with Cashhh."
But that was not the case for Stalk.When asked in an interview who exactly owns the patent for the vaccine, he replied, “The people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
Can you imagine someone saying that about a patented drug today, in 2018?Uh, no. You can't. Let's get back to the Bloomberg Opinion piece– and the issue of Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C affected over 100 million people worldwide.
In the late 40’s, there was nothing that scared American parents more than polio, a disease which: - Caused partia… https://t.co/i9zXjQFy1x— Bloomberg Opinion (@Bloomberg Opinion)1543342014.0