“In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.”
Samir Amin also charges on developed countries for what he considers to be a contradiction in terms present in this target’s premise. From his point of view, the “generous intention to provide access to drugs” necessarily collides with the referred cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, those that exerce the monopoly of medicines, making it so difficult for some developing countries’ inhabitants to afford some basic drugs that could prevent simple diseases which, nevertheless, still kill millions of people every year.
The situation concerning this target is not particularly encouraging, and the fact that the average price of essential medicines in developing countries is still 2.5 times higher than the reference international prices in the public sector, and 6.1 in the private sector, leads us to tend to the same line of thought of Samir Amin, who criticizes the action of big pharmaceutical companies that own the intellectual property rights, as well as the position of political leaders that align with them instead of trying to combat their nocive practices. It is known that engagements in this matter are not usually settled to specific targets, which once again makes it difficult to properly assess whether we are on track to meet the deadline or not . Furthermore, the most recent UN data reckon an increasement in the number of people who have no access to essential medecines, again due to the effects of global economic crisis, even though some countries’ past exemples show that crisis time can instead be a turning point used to introduce the needed political and social changes that will allow improvements concerning health conditions and access to medicines. In addition, even if non-transmittable diseases (such as cardiovascular diseades) are responsible for most of the deaths occurring in developing countries, the attention of international actors is mainly focused on diseades such as HIV/Aids or tuberculosis, whose prevention and reduction are actually the subject of MDG 6 – ”Combating HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases”.