Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Universal Health Care

What is wrong with this country that we cannot have free healthcare available to its' citizens ? Even having routine care, yearly physicals, vaccinations, emergency services available could go a long way to improving the system in place now.

Government is worried they will piss off some business interested in making a buck off sick americans. They might lose contributions or a few votes. God fobid.

Anyway my ribs are still sore. More later


Anonymous said...

Or we could be stuck with rising costs, I think I would rather wait to see a doctor for free, including free emergency services......

A newly surfaced report alleges that in 1996, drug monolith Pfizer gave an unproven drug to Nigerian children and infants suffering from meningitis -- without the authorization of the Nigerian government. Completed five years ago and coming to light in a May 7 Washington Post investigation, the confidential report, written by a panel of Nigerian health experts, concluded that administering the drug Trovan to 100 patients suffering a deadly strain of meningitis was "an illegal trial of an unregistered drug." The drug was ultimately shown to be ineffective. A lawsuit against Pfizer claims some of the children in the trial died and others suffered brain damage.

The report surfaces as more and more clinical research relocates to the Global South in order to escape burdensome regulation schemes in the United States and Western Europe. AlterNet has obtained an early look at a book to be published later this year -- The Body Hunters: How the Drug Industry Tests Its Products On the World's Poorest Patients (New Press), by investigative journalist Sonia Shah -- that raises the curtain on a trend that's harming patients and health care systems while eroding the developing world's trust in conventional medicine.

Researchers needing patients and freer working conditions have for years found a honey pot in the world's slums and shantytowns. The fact that poor, desperate patients are willing to try anything, means companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Wyeth currently conduct 30 percent to 50 percent of their experiments outside Western Europe and the United States, and plan to boost foreign trials by 67 percent this year, according to USA Today. Their urgency is understandable; Shah's book notes that to get a single drug to market, drug companies are forced "to convince more than 4,000 patients to undergo 141 medical procedures each in more than 65 separate trials."

Clinical investigators and the companies backing them argue that overseas trials get drugs to a lucky few and lead to faster cures for us all. But Shah, the author of Crude: The Story of Oil, deftly takes that Big Pharma myth to task, tracing how drug trial exports ruin third-world health care systems, steer attention away from public health needs like clean water and sanitation, and ignore the health safety of subjects.

From the history of placebo controls to a modern map of how loophole-prone laws in the 1980s paved Big Pharma's easy way, Shah shows that "the main business of clinical research is not enhancing or saving lives but acquiring stuff: data" -- making it an industry instead of a social service, as it would have the world believe. As an industry, she argues, they should be denied the regulatory winks and nods reserved for a public health entity.

MonkeyBoy said...

The movie " The Constant Gardener" puts these dirty dealing drug companies on the big screen. The movie also shows British govt. officials helping these companies get away with it.