Tuesday, January 13, 2009

HIV AIDS and Pharmaceutical Corporations

After Blood Diamond Movie, an interesting movie that shows about the bad condition of Sierra Leone, and its natural resources (Diamond), once again I want to review an issues that is ever depicted and taken from a good movie. This special movie is I have seen at least one year ago, and once again describe about the bad experience of Africa continent.
Perhaps all of you ever seen "the Constant Gardener Movie". If I am not wrong, this movie is played by talented actor and actress, Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weizsh. The essential of this story is tells about the the role of Tessa (Rachel Weish) as an activist in Africa who running up against a drug corporation exercising its power to both ignore the easily treated diseases of the third world and use African population for unofficial research and development.
Somethings new and important that I can achieve from this movie is a lesson about the existence of power and politics of pharmaceutical corporation for the poor African and the role of those corporation in using them as a trial for its drugs development.

Well,AIDS and HIV has reached epidemic proportions in many developing countries. It is serious enough where in some nations has had a large impact on mortality rates and the economy. Some 80% of deaths for 2007 were in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that also has over two-thirds of adult HIV cases and some 90% of all children living with HIV. Breaking that down further.

In the developed countries, we can see many adverts by large transnational pharmaceutical companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, Pfizer and many others. We see a lot of emphasis on health alerts or sections on the news. However, as is becoming increasingly apparentand concerningis how the emphasis on the new drugs and cures being developed fit a class distinction, where the research is on problems that affect the wealthier people who can afford the cures.
Profit from Suffering

Pharmaeutical corporations using a controversial methods to operate in many developing countries, indeed they often to do sell products in developing countries that are withdrawn in the West; use their influence to try to prevent national drug policies; sell their products by persuasive and misleading advertising and promotion; cause the poor to divert money away from essential items, such as foodstuffs, to paying for expensive, patented medicines, thereby adding to problems of malnutrition.

Many of pharmaceutical corporation also often used a methods by testing drugs to the poor and human without permission. Like in this movie, many Africans become a trial of those drugs. In Africa also tobe one of the world’s biggest drug companies experimented on children without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Another example are experienced by many of Indian society. Many pharmaceutical corporation test drugs on Indian's poor by by using India’s cheaper, but highly skilled workforce to conduct drugs trials there, rather than in industrialized countries, thus saving significantly on the costs.

Furthermore, many drugs are being developed for markets in industrialized countries. Yet, using incentives such as $100 for participation (even though patients may not be fully aware of all the issues, which poses other ethical issues) in effect, poor people in other countries are being used for testing drugs on, while the potential benefits would be for people elsewhere. Wired News cited an assitant professor of medical history and bioethics, Srirupa Prasad, who said, “Third World lives are worth much less than the European lives. That is what colonialism was all about.
Testing Drugs in Many of Poor Society
Thats all at a glance my knowledge about pharmaceutical corporations in developing countries. Globalizaton not only has bring the spread of multi national corporation to operate in many areas over the world, but also has bring the deeper effect by commit a human rights abusive.The threat of health security especially AIDS not only enlarged by social economic condition and lack of handle, but also avarice and crime many of mutinational corporation in broaden their wings

11 comments:

rummuser said...

I do not hold a candle to these companies, but there is one undeniable fact that needs to be given consideration.

Niar, These companies spend billions of dollars on research and that expenditure has to be recovered by proper pricing. They are businesses. They are not charities. Where possible, these companies are known to reduce prices for social reasons.

tikno said...

I think the comment from Rummuser is reasonable. I think the possibly way is the companies give special discount for the poor countries and then government give subsidy.

LoRFLoR said...

hi niar, it's lorflor. my blog is working again and now i have a new one too. www.lah11.blogspot.com. hope all is well!!

Hi! I'm Grace said...

You know what, Niar, after you post the movie review "blood diamond" I really get to watch it, too. And yeah, it never disappointed me. I liked the movie. It speaks of reality, too.

Anonymous said...

AIDS: Dark in Life


-Mohammad Khairul Alam-
-Executive Director-
-Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation-
-24/3 M. C. Roy Lane-
-Dhaka-1211, Bangladesh-
-Email: rainbowngo@gmail.com-
-Web: www.newsletter.com.bd
-Tell: 880-2-8628908-
-Mobile: 88-01711344997-


The Asian HIV/AIDS epidemic is highly dynamic. Though, in the early 1980s when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was becoming significant in the Western Hemisphere and Africa, only a few cases of HIV infection were reported in Asia. The risky behaviour and vulnerability, which promote, fuel and facilitate the rapid transmission of HIV, are present in virtually all countries of the Asian region. Thus, the potential for its further spread is significant. Based on evidence from various causes, behaviours that produce the highest risk of infection in this region are unprotected sex (both heterosexual and homosexual) and needle sharing among intravenous drug users (IDUs). However, the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Asia took a new turn in the 1990s. It is spreading faster in parts of Asia than in other regions of the world. Some have predicted that the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this region in the twenty-first century could be much worse.

Trafficking in young girls, children and women is a matter of great concern all over the world. In South Asia, cross-border trafficking, sourcing, transit to destination is a big problem. Even more prevalent is the movement of persons within the countries for exploitation in various forms. There are no definite figures about the number of victims.

Trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation is the most virulent form in South Asia. Internal displacement due to conflict in some of these countries, poverty and lack of employment opportunities, increase the vulnerabilities to being trafficked.

AIDS researcher Mr. Anirudha Alam said, "Trafficking & HIV/AIDS is interrelated, especially women and girls are trafficking for use of sexual industry. Most of trafficking girls would face several physical & sexual abuses. When a girl or women newly enrolls a sex industry, she tries to safe herself heard & soul, but most of the time they couldn't free her."

Though this data is not enough to certify the fact, still South Asia is home to one of the largest concentrations of people living with HIV. Female sex workers (FSWs) - as a group - are an important driver of the epidemic. As has been shown in a very recent research involving repatriated FSWs in Nepal, many of the FSWs who have been trafficked are at a significantly higher risk than "average" women of contracting HIV. The Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation conducted a survey that focuses on the attitude, behavior and practice of FSWs in Goalondo Brothel, this study points out that almost 53% of sex workers enter the profession before the age of 20 years, and 30% enter between 20 to 25 years of age, and some of them have been entangled through instigation of the traffickers.

The spread of HIV/AIDS in Asia is expected to accelerate if Governments fail to act with a sense of urgency, and if preventive action is taken too little or too late. In this regard, the Monitoring the AIDS Pandemic Study has warned that the recent increase in HIV prevalence in specific locations in Asia should be regarded as a serious warning of more widespread epidemics. It is also significant to recognize that HIV/AIDS cases are often underreported. Asia is lacking in providing a comprehensive system of complete range of voluntary counseling with testing (VCT) services. However, governments and some NGOs have developed some VCT centers in several regoin in their countries. Though insufficient in number, the initiative is praiseworthy.

The risk factors for HIV/AIDS infection is at an upsetting level in Bangladesh. Being a low prevalence country, containing the epidemic in the early stage is very essential. The Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) services for HIV is now acknowledged within the international arena as an efficacious and pivotal strategy for both HIV/AIDS prevention and care. The need for VCT is increasingly compelling as HIV infection rates continue to rise, and many countries recognised the need for their populations to know their sero-status as an important prevention and intervention tool. However, access to VCT services in Bangladesh like many developing countries is limited. Many people are still very reluctant to be tested for HIV. This reluctance is the result of barriers to VCT, which are: stigma, gender inequalities and lack of perceived benefit.

The consequences of HIV/AIDS can be far-reaching for young people. Not only does HIV disease have terrible consequences for the individual, causing serious illness and eventual death, it has the potential to trigger negative social reactions. Across the world, people with HIV/AIDS routinely experience discrimination, stigmatization and ostracization.

References: CARE, World Bank, UNAIDS.

NAVAL LANGA said...

Awareness about HIV can save many life. The disease is spreading at the speed of fire.

Naval Langa
SHORT STORIES by NAVAL LANGA
BIG CITIES OF INDIA

Hi! I'm Grace said...

Hi Niar, looks like you have been very busy lately. Or maybe you land a job now already. Oh, I hope so. Be safe always, girl. :)

Anonymous said...

From US
From my point of view, the pharmaceutical companies will stop at nothing for financial gain. In Africa, they force test pregnant women with HIV...offering free medical ONLY if they will take the "test" pill, obviously without any respect or regard for human life. As long as their bottom line stays in the billions of dollars in profit annually, they could care less. In the US, they have completely overwhelmed television commercials, blasting their propaganda, charging thousands of times the cost of each pill, bankrupting users, ruining the American economy, ripping off the American public both financially and medically. The more "chemicals" they force feed the "zombie" public, the sicker they get, the more pills they are prescribed, then more "disease" (more and more physical problems are labeled as "disease" every year so that the pharmaceutical companies can test and distribute more and more chemicals for diseases)...all this equals billions of dollars for these companies and their shareholders. REGARDLESS OF HOW THEY MIGHT OCCASIONALLY DISCOUNT THEIR POISONS TO THE UNDERPRIVILEGED!!!!!!!! - That's just another method of advertising and offsetting their guilt. It's all about the stock exchange, not human life or safety. Without regard for human life in Africa or the west, they just push on and on and on. With so much money behind their propaganda, lies, unethical testing and power, there seems to be no way to stop this madness. From the west, we "humans" who live here, DESPISE these human violations along with the wicked sex trade, which all seems to go hand in hand. STOP USING CHEMICALS. SWITCH TO NATURAL PRODUCTS, HERBS, OLD REMEDIES, ANYTHING BUT THESE CHEMICALS that are guaranteed to make you worse over time! If only we could find a way to stop all this inhumanity, if only "I" could think of any way to put people straight in their heads, I'd give my life to correct this injustice and suffering...but alas, we are all subject to the power behind the almighty dollar bill. God save us all!

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HIV treatment strategy has transformed greatly from monotherapy to high activity antiretroviral therapy (HAART) that includes three or four drugs of one or two or three different classes. However, various factors affect outcome of HAART. These are access to and availability of medicines and healthcare facilities, financial condition of the patient, benefits versus risks of starting therapy, level of motivation of patient to begin therapy, adherence to therapy, acceptance and support by society/family etc.[1] There is an increasing realization in the corporate world and especially among the pharmaceutical industry that programs to sensitize the society along with developing patient-friendly drug regimens are keys to better outcome against HIV/AIDS. This article discusses some of the initiatives taken by the pharmaceutical industry in this respect as part of corporate social responsibility. This article is based on the presentation by the author at the national consultation on drug resistance in malaria, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS organized by Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Mumbai during 19th to 21st September, 2005.