- The Senate of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0A4
The acceleration of globalization of the market over the last
three decades, greatly facilitated by the expanding
influence of neoliberalism in international economic politics,
has advanced the internationalization of pharmaceutical
research and has influenced the ways in which it is market,
researched, and developed. In lieu of all the benefits they
bring, the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest companies
face a battle between the goals of corporate wealth and
public health. A small number of corporations have come to
dominate the research agenda and operate in a system
which the relentless pursuit of profit takes priority over
public good. While the majority world suffers because they
are deprived of essential medicines and die of neglected
diseases, people in the minority world still benefit. The
reasons for lack of access are diverse and complex, but in
many cases the high prices of drugs are a barrier to needed
treatments. Prohibitive drug prices are often the result of
strong intellectual property protection (‘t Hoen, 2002). The
devastating consequences of implementing patents on
pharmaceuticals and the influence of the market on
prioritizing research and development has led to a
perpetuation of global inequality.
Thousands die of preventable or neglected diseases like
malaria, HIV or tuberculosis every day (Albright et al.
2005). The reason why not enough attention is called to
the matter is because the people who are dying are too
poor to command it. If the same situation was found in
developed countries it would most likely be lead news every
day and they would be devoting serious resources to
finding a cure as fast as possible. As it remains, just 10%
of the world’s research and development on health is
targeted on diseases affecting 90% of the world’s people
and sadly, of more than a thousand new medicines
developed over the last 25 years, just 1% were specifically
for diseases of tropical countries (Albright et al. 2005).
Similarly, it is Western Europe, North America, and Japan
who make up 80% of the world’s pharmaceutical market
where as Africa is 1% (Robinson, 2001). The people who
need the most drugs are the people with the least access
to them. Therefore, they go without. Little money is to be
made in the developing countries that suffer from disease
pandemics. Therefore, they get neglected.
It is clear that the current state of modern medicine and
the pharmaceutical industry is not well. It needs an
accurate diagnosis and appropriate course of treatment.
The remedy to reversing the effects of the symptoms can
be achieved; it will be a challenge but it must not be
We, the undersigned, call PM Harper and Senators
LeBreton and Meighen, to call Bill C-393 to a vote in the
Senate and call on you to vote for this Bill -- echoing the
will of the majority of Canadian elected representatives.
Bill C-393 is important humanitarian legislation that will
save lives. A majority of our democratically-elected House
of Commons has voted for it. It has the support of a wide
range of medical and legal experts as well as faith leaders
and humanitarian activists. It also has the support of
millions of Canadians including me. Our appointed Senate
must not prevent this bill from becoming law by stalling
the vote until an election is called.
The Pass Bill C-393 now and save lives petition to The Senate of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0A4 was written by Mickella LeClair and is in the category Health at GoPetition.