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Drug Companies’ Desires To Maintain Status Quo Are ‘Lethal’

In the second of a two-part Al Jazeera opinion-piece series “examining the methods by which multinational drug corporations inflate their expenses and justify their pricing strategies,” Khadija Sharife, a journalist and visiting scholar at the Center for Civil Society, looks at U.S. tax laws, lax oversight of international clinical trials, the cost of research on new pharmaceutical compounds, and vaccine manufacturing.

“Developed nations banging the trade-related intellectual property drum, and intellectual property captains such as Bill Gates, will not bypass the anti-competitive grip of patents – for which there exists no free market, and where all patent value is opaquely imputed by the company in question,” he writes, adding, “This is the flipside of ‘charity,’ this is a calculated attempt to sustain the status quo – a world structured on inequality, where the gap between those with access to medicine, and those without, is not only undeserved and systemically unjust – but also lethal” (7/3). 

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.