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Big Pharma: Life-Savers or Profiteers? – Chris’s Cancer Community

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As many of you know, I’m not one to sit on the fence, and I have very strong personal views, about the role that big pharma is playing in our current society. But I’m sure many won’t agree with me. Below, I have laid out a more balanced view, for you to make up your own mind. Then finish, with my own personal opinions and conclusions.

Summary: The pharmaceutical industry has brought life-saving drugs but also raises concerns around pricing, marketing and ethics. This article weighs the pros and cons, including the role of big pharma during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Contentious Role of Big Pharma

When it comes to the major pharmaceutical corporations, opinions are sharply divided. Are these companies modern marvels providing vital treatments? Or are they profit-obsessed behemoths exploiting human health? The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle, with both positive and negative impacts to consider.

The Pros of Big Pharma

Research and Development of New Drugs
One of the biggest upsides of major pharmaceutical companies is their immense investment into researching and developing new drug treatments. With billions poured into R&D annually, major breakthroughs in medicine are made possible.

Life-Saving and Life-Improving Treatments

Thanks to this research, many drugs have been developed that save or drastically improve millions of lives each year. From cancer therapies to insulin, antidepressants, and COVID-19 vaccines, big pharma is responsible for treatments we now take for granted.

Job Creation and Economic Impact

The pharmaceutical industry employs nearly 5 million people worldwide and has a huge economic impact, especially in major pharma hubs like New Jersey. This supports countless jobs and communities.

The Cons of Big Pharma

Unethical Marketing and Influence
Unfortunately, some big pharma companies have employed unethical marketing tactics like misleading claims and underplaying drug risks. Lobbying has also affected regulations to prioritize profit over public health.

Skyrocketing Drug Prices

One of the biggest criticisms is the soaring costs of many brand-name drugs. With limited competition, companies can set exorbitant prices that make important medicines unaffordable for many patients

Fuelling the Opioid Crisis

It’s alleged some companies knew of high abuse potential but still aggressively marketed opioid painkillers, contributing to the deadly addiction crisis. Criminal charges have been brought in some cases.

The COVID-19 Factor

The COVID-19 pandemic put big pharma under an intense spotlight, both for better and worse. On one hand, companies like Pfizer and Moderna rapidly developed effective vaccines in record time, undoubtedly saving millions of lives. However, there was also criticism around profiteering from the vaccines and treatment pills. With limited competitors and global demand, pharma companies could essentially name their prices during the crisis, leading to issues around vaccine equity and access for lower-income nations.

Finding the Right Balance

In an ideal world, pharmaceutical companies should be motivated by improving human health rather than just maximizing revenue. But they are still businesses that need funding for drug research. While reforms like drug price controls and stronger marketing regulations are needed, we must be careful not to disincentivize pharma innovation through overly burdensome policies. Striking that balance between affordability and supporting continued breakthroughs is the key challenge.

The Bottom Line on Big Pharma

Like many industries, big pharmaceutical companies aren’t necessarily evil, but their profit motives can lead to unethical and harmful practices when left unchecked. Responsible oversight and putting public health over profits is crucial. But we must also recognize the countless lives saved and quality of life improved thanks to their research efforts over the decades. The solution is finding that balanced approach, not vilifying the entire industry as a whole.

Opinion

I believe that society is now hooked on drugs etc given out to us over many years. Prices and supplies all dictated by the pharmaceutical industry. This is all controlled by shareholders, who are in it for one thing only, PROFIT! In my opinion, the World Health Organisation, is totally corrupt. A place where Bill Gates and his friends can run amok with their money and influence, under the disguise of ‘helping people.’

Most senior politicians across the globe are somehow involved with private healthcare, to improve their finances even more. We, the people have no say in what happens regarding our own health. In the ever increasing race for money, how can we ever solve some of the worlds biggest health issues? I feel that there are too many individual agendas now, for global health to ever be improved. Not dissimilar to the issues of trying to save the planet. There will always be encouraging headlines of progress, but most of us won’t get to experience it unless we have plenty of money. We are no longer driven by health, but by sickness. This is where the real money lies.

As always, these are my personal opinions, and I’m sure you all have your own on such a sensitive subject. Please feel free to share yours below.