Pharmaceutical Transnationals

Refers to AQA AS Geography (Chapter 8 - Health Issues)

What are the global consequences of pharmaceutical TNCs?

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  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 13-04-13 11:01
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  • Pharmaceutical TNCs
    • Branded Pharmaceuticals
      • Two broad categories; Generic or Branded
      • Branded drugs more expensive but chemically identical to their cheaper, generic form
      • e.g. Panadol is the branded form of paraceatamol.
      • Branded drugs three to thirty times more expensive so prohibitive for much of worlds population
      • Strong marketing needed for branded drug to be more popular than its generic form.
    • Essential Drugs
      • WHO publishes lists of 'essential drugs'; generic drugs which can provide safe, effective treatment for communicable and non-communicable diseases.
      • Lists widely regarded as an important tool to increase access to healthcare for the world's population.
      • Unpopular in countries with strong pharmaceutical industries (the WHO essential drugs list is not implemented in the USA or EU)
    • Drug Development
      • Largest profits from sale of brand name drugs.
      • Research on diseases affecting millions in developing countries receives only a fraction of the funding on cancer research.
      • Most research funds spent on combating diseases of affluence.
      • It is illegal to make copies of patented drugs for 20 years, so many drugs regarded as 'essential' by WHO not available in generic form.
    • Marketing and distrabution
      • Branded drugs unusual among consumer goods in the developed world. Take what doctor perscribes
      • Industry heavily targets doctors with marketing
      • Criticism is that they tend to treat symptoms rather than the cause of the problem
      • e.g. vitamin supplement iron folate on WHO's list of essential drugs (for pregnant women) but a similar compound is found in leafy green vegetables, which arguably should be encouraged instead.
    • The modern pharmaceutical industry
      • The largest ten pharmaceutical companies in the world feature in the world's top four-hundred companies.
      • Five have headquarters in the USA, two in the UK, two in Switzerland and one in France.
      • Johnson & Johnson has more than 190 operating companies in 52 coumtries, selling products in 175 countries. GLOBALISATION


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