Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the U.S. presidency in 2020, has compared pharmaceutical company executives to murderers.
Sanders points out that many pharma companies have dramatically increased the prices of their drugs in recent years. He therefore argues that if patients die as a result of being unable to afford to pay for their medication, this essentially makes drug company executives murderers.
While Sanders is of course correct in observing that the pharma industry is running a business that involves corruption and unbelievable greed, the operating principles upon which the industry is based are even worse than he describes.
Essentially, the pharma industry isn’t interested in preventing or curing diseases as doing so wouldn’t be in its long-term interests. Instead, driven by the profits it makes for its shareholders, it sees the maintenance and expansion of diseases as a precondition for its financial growth. Towards this goal, pharma companies focus on the development of drugs that merely treat symptoms while avoiding the prevention and elimination of diseases. If such drugs then produce dangerous side effects in patients, which most of them invariably do, this only further contributes to profits as additional drugs are likely to be needed in order to treat them.
To learn more about the main principles governing the pharmaceutical ‘business with disease’, visit the special feature page on our website.