Latest Issue

Fall of big pharma

The pharmaceutical industry is in poor health. Sales are declining, innovation is weak and drug trials don't work. Longer patent periods are needed.

By Richard Horton   August 2003

The pharmaceutical industry is an easy target-too easy sometimes. Take a television camera crew to any African hospital and you will find people dying from diseases-Aids, chest infections, malaria, tuberculosis, meningitis-that are entirely treatable. Thousands of deaths stack up in the world’s poorest countries because people are denied access to essential medicines.

NGOs, such as M?decins Sans Fronti?res and Oxfam, have made a persuasive case to governments and the public that big pharma’s paramount concern is to protect its intellectual property at the expense of the lives of the poor. Pharmaceutical companies reply that they cannot be a national health…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect