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Commentary

Demonizing the drug business
Deroy Murdock, Washington Times, 12-27-04

How many people know that “nine major drug companies donated $2.135 billion in products and services to combat HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria” and other infectious diseases afflicting developing nations?

Not many, I expect. Murdock also notes that pharmaceutical company largesse outstrips the entire budget of the WHO, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Health Budget, and the (by comparison) paltry spending by the European Commission on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria ($451 million).

Why, then, is it that columnists and activists routinely decry the industry for its “greedy, bloodsucking, murderous behavior all over the globe.” The picture is a caricature, to be sure, but why is it so readily embraced?

Pharmaceutical companies are in the awkward position of actually helping people through their business. If you think that profiting from the sale of cures for deadly diseases is inherently evil, then there is nothing that these companies can do to convince you otherwise.

Murdock reminds us this holiday season that without the charity of the much-maligned pharmaceutical companies “millions of destitute Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans” would have lost their lives.



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