Une opportunité considérable pour la santé mondiale

NEW YORK – Chaque année, des millions de personnes décèdent des suites de maladies pourtant évitables et soignables, en particulier dans les pays pauvres. Dans de nombreux cas, les médicaments vitaux sont produits en masse à bas prix, mais vendus à des tarifs prohibitifs pour ceux qui en ont besoin. Bon nombre d’individus trouvent la mort car ils ne peuvent tout simplement bénéficier d’aucun traitement ou vaccin, un part si infime des compétences mondiales et des ressources limitées de la recherche étant consacrées à lutter contre la maladie chez les pauvres.  

Cet état de fait révèle un échec économique et juridique auquel il est urgent de remédier. La bonne nouvelle c’est qu’il existe aujourd’hui un certain nombre de possibilités de changement, dont la plus prometteuse réside dans un effort international mené par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé, qui pourrait bien commencer à réformer un régime de la propriété intellectuelle qui empêche actuellement le développement et la disponibilité de médicaments à bas prix. 

Deux problèmes principaux limitent aujourd’hui la disponibilité des médicaments. Premièrement, ils sont très coûteux ; ou, pour être plus précis, leur prix de vente est extrêmement élevé, bien que leur coût de production ne représente qu’une fraction de ce montant. Deuxièmement, la production pharmaceutique est axée sur une maximisation des profits, plutôt que sur les bienfaits sociaux, ce qui entrave les efforts en faveur de la création de médicaments essentiels au bien être humain. Les pauvres ayant peu d’argent à dépenser, les sociétés pharmaceutiques, selon les arrangements actuels, sont peu enclines à effectuer des recherches sur les maladies qui les affectent.   

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