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Government Of India Should Not Blame Companies For Country’s Drug Access Challenges

Forbes: WHO Conference Enables India’s Deadly Blame Game
Roger Bate, scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

“…Sick patients, in India and everywhere else, aren’t getting treated because of greed. This is nonsense. Over 95 percent of drugs considered essential by the WHO are off patent. The reason patients don’t receive them has nothing to do with corporate greed and everything to do with poverty, protectionism, and government incompetence. … Neglect and mismanagement have left the Indian public health infrastructure in shoddy shape, precious vaccines are ruined due to improper storage, and sanitation is so bad that India is fast becoming the epicenter of dangerous new drug resistance. … It is unfortunate that WHO is a willing accomplice to India’s aims. … [The 1st World Conference on Access to Medical Products and International Laws for Trade and Health, in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in New Delhi] has all the appearances of being born of good faith. It’s not. This is an expensive exercise in blame-shifting. It is of no surprise that the conference is being held over Thanksgiving. Limiting U.S. participation means fewer voices arguing with the mantra of corporate greed. The Indian government and WHO should stop pointing fingers and take a cold hard look in the mirror” (11/20).

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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.