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Affordability and availability of AIDS drugs in poor (developing) countries - Essay Example

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The wide disparity between world economies has posed problems regarding the applicability of humane measures in certain geographical areas of the world where economic resources are scarce,if not paltry.Affordability of anti AIDS drugs has been a consistent problem in some of the poorest regions of the world,especially Sub-Saharan Africa…
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Affordability and availability of AIDS drugs in poor (developing) countries
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Download file to see previous pages The wide disparity between world economies has posed problems regarding the applicability of humane measures in certain geographical areas of the world where economic resources are scarce,if not paltry.Affordability of anti AIDS drugs has been a consistent problem in some of the poorest regions of the world,especially Sub-Saharan Africa. Financial resources with international organizations like the WHO (World Health Organization) and other UN bodies are scarce and the organization is unable to provide the necessary drugs to the ailing millions despite its best efforts. The disease AIDS has acquired monstrous proportions during the last few decades killing more humans in terms of numbers than those killed in the Nazi holocaust (Binswanger, 2003). In Africa alone, by the year 2002, 20.4 million people had died of AIDS and the figure for infected persons stood at a whopping 29.4 million. The world economic order has witnessed a radical shift in the last few years, with even the developed countries being forced to restrict their financial resources. Under the circumstances, the question remains whether sufferers of the disease in poor as well as developing countries can ever even begin to imagine of being able to afford treatment for AIDS? Further complications arose in history due to the monopoly of pharmaceutical companies which exclusively manufacture anti-retroviral drugs and fix their own prices, which are usually exorbitant. Steps taken worldwide by charitable organizations’ and the emergence of generic AIDS drug manufacturers in recent years has reduced the cost of therapy up to some extent, but the yawning gap between the availability and affordability still exists in most poor countries of the world. It remains to be seen whether in the current downtrend in world economy, whether this gap will ever be plugged or not? It therefore becomes imperative that developed nations should provide AIDS treatments to people in developing countries free of charge. The following reasons justify the appropriateness of this measure. Counter Argument From the evidence available so far, it seems that it will be impossible to meet the requirements of all the people suffering from AIDS in the word due to the single simple fact that the average per capita income in some of the countries in which majority of AIDS patients live falls much below the average annual cost of the currently recommended regimen of AIDS therapy known as HAART (Highly Active Anti Retroviral Therapy) (Borrell, 2011). The present economic crisis is a deterrent which prevents developed countries from sending adequate financial aid as even countries like US, UK and the rest of the developed world is struggling with internal economic crunch, preventing adequate healthcare benefits’ to their own citizens. However, there are ways and means to overcome such obstacles and the entire humanity needs to prevent the scourge of AIDS on a global scale and at a war footing. Reduction of prices of drugs is one way of assisting the sufferers in poor countries. Borrell (2011) has explored the impact of patent rights and monopolies of major pharmaceutical giants on the availability and affordability of therapeutic drug regimens in poor and developed countries. He believes that the clever pricing policies of the pharmacological giants are responsible for making the drugs unaffordable. Their double pronged pricing strategy includes a ‘skimming strategy’ in which novel drug molecules are introduced in the therapeutic arena at a higher price, reducing the price gradually once it established a strong market foothold. Contrary to this, there is the ‘penetration strategy’ wherein the opposite holds true, i.e. there is a low price at the introduction of the drug, and it is gradually increased after gaining popularity, in order to maximize profit (Borrell, 2011). In his study, the author has investigated the impact of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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