Some people think that drug companies have the responsibility to spend money
on researching medicine in order to help the people in poorer countries. Others,
however, say the main responsibility of drug companies is to make money.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Sample Answer [287 words]
The question of affordable healthcare and the role drug companies play are popular topics in the
media. The argument of social responsibility along with ethics against the back drop of financial
accountability to shareholders is a dilemma with no end. Who will prevail? The people, especially
those in poverty, or stakeholders, demanding returns on investment? For many this is a‘Catch-22′
Universal health care, ensures a blanket coverage. However, poorer nations cannot afford this luxury.
Many are dependent on the good-will, of corporations together with overseas aid from govemments
and charities. Furthermore, drug companies are businesses, and all businesses need to turm a profit.
The accumulated profits can be reinvested, developing new and safer medications. Yet these
processes are time-consuming as well as expensive. In addition, money does not grow on trees and
bills must be paid.
Here lies the conundrum, how much is a fair price? Many people believe ‘Big Pharma’ are in cahoots
with insurance companies to elevate drug costs arifiall. This is an intolerable situation, as it
disadvantages the impoverished. The mantra of ‘people before proft’ is heard often, yet without profit
or even price gouging, subsidizing health initiatives would not be possible.
Consequently, governments need to take care of the weakest in their communities. An oversight
committee made up of luminaries could help investigate pricings to ensure ethical standards are
upheld, whilst the well-being of others are maintained. Perhaps govemnment grants and investment
are avenues to investigate.
In conclusion, there is no easy fx to this matter; this can has been kicked down a long road for a long
time. That being said, the time to act is now, as affordable medicine not only prevents tragedies but
also saves lives.