TOPICS

Ebola: Capitalism Against Global Health

Ebola: Capitalism Against Global Health

By Xavier Caño Tamayo

Beyond the fears of developed countries, Ebola, malaria, AIDS, cholera, measles and Ebola itself kill millions of people in silence. Especially in Africa. Millions.

In 1976, the Ebola virus was identified as the cause of a particularly dangerous disease, but 38 years later, the disease is still ignored by developed countries and no one is known to seriously do research to cure or prevent it. While the infected and the dead increase. But curing that ailment, nor the others mentioned is not business, so it is not investigated.

Pharmaceutical companies have no interest in finding drugs and vaccines against the deadly diseases that plague poor countries. And, for their part, the powerful pharmaceutical companies spend twice as much on advertising and marketing as they spend on research and development. That the spirit and will of the very capitalist pharmaceutical sector is to achieve the more profits, the better and nothing more, is confirmed by the CEO of the drug giant, Bayer, Marijn Dekkers: "Bayer develops drugs for Western patients who can afford it." Clearer, crystal clear water.

The neglect and neglect of research against diseases of the poor is directly related to the search for profit. The poor cannot afford the medicines that would cure them and, therefore, there is no business. The death toll from diseases that mainly hit impoverished countries also has a lot to do with the ‘structural adjustments’ required by the International Monetary Fund if African states, for example, want to obtain loans from the World Bank. These ‘adjustments’ are especially public privatizations and cuts in social spending, especially in health. While the World Health Organization indicates that the minimum public expenditure on public health must be 15% of the general budgets, in Africa the average is 5%.

Another capitalist act is to create diseases that only exist in the greedy will of the pharmaceutical sector. Pharmaceutical companies present as diseases natural processes of human life such as menopause, shyness, sadness due to events or painful losses or loss of sexual potency after a certain age. 'Diseases' that have to be medicated, of course, and not with cheap drugs. To achieve this universal deception, they rely on the persuasion or bribery of some doctors and, above all, huge investments in marketing and advertising to entangle the public, making them believe that normal vital problems are pathologies that can be cured with pills. The American psychiatrist Allen Frances has also declared the growing medicalization of life in psychiatry a fatal practice. For his part, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Thomas Steitz, has denounced that “big pharmaceutical companies have canceled their antibiotic research because they cure people and these companies do not want to cure people but rather sell drugs that have to be taken for a lifetime ”. It is another great fraud of one of the most powerful sectors of the system, the pharmaceutical sector, which clearly shows its undeniable amorality.

That the pharmaceutical sector is pure capitalism indicates that, in the list of the 500 largest companies in the world, the profits of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies exceed those of the other 490 companies in that relationship. The culmination of the ilk of capitalism from this powerful sector is expressed by the Catalan nun and internist doctor, Teresa Forcades, who, in her work The Crimes of the Large Pharmaceutical Companies affirms that “in 2000 and 2003, almost all of the large Pharmaceutical companies went through the courts of the United States, accused of fraudulent practices. Eight of these companies were ordered to pay more than 2.2 billion dollars in fine. In four cases, the pharmaceutical companies involved (TAP Pharmaceuticals, Abbott, AstraZeneca and Bayer) acknowledged their responsibility in criminal actions that endangered the health and lives of thousands of people ”. Therefore it is completely correct to say that capitalism seriously damages health.

Center for Solidarity Collaborations


Video: Shifts in Global Health Security: Lessons from Ebola (January 2022).