Pharmaceuticals

El verdadero problema de los medicamentos en Estados Unidos

ANN ARBOR – Todo doctor recuerda de manera indeleble a su primer paciente con toxoplasmosis, una terrible infección parasitaria que afecta a personas con sistemas inmunes debilitados, como los que producen los estados avanzados del VIH/SIDA. Tras infectar los órganos y el cerebro de la persona, provoca alteración mental, fiebres, escalofríos y convulsiones. Sin tratamiento puede causar la muerte en apenas una semana.

Durante más de 60 años ha existido un tratamiento, la pirimetamina, disponible en los Estados Unidos como Daraprim, que últimamente casi se ha vuelto inasequible. En agosto, una compañía llamada Turing Pharmaceuticals adquirió sus derechos de comercialización y elevó abruptamente el precio de una pastilla, de $13,50 a $750. Además de causar preocupación sobre su disponibilidad, la situación expone uno de los grandes defectos del sistema estadounidense de atención de salud: a menudo los beneficios importan más que las personas.

Martin Shkreli, Director Ejecutivo de Turing, recibió fuertes críticas en los medios, por ejemplo una publicación el muro de Facebook de Hillary Clinton, ex Secretaria de Estado de EE.UU. La respuesta de éste fue intransigente: en Twitter, la calificó como “una tonta” y describió el alza del precio como “una gran decisión de negocios que además beneficia a todos nuestros accionistas”.

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