Statement |

MSF response to Bayer CEO statement that medicines developed only for western patients

“The Bayer CEO going on record to say that they did not develop a cancer medicine for the Indian market but only for ‘western patients who can afford it’ sums up everything that is wrong with the multinational pharmaceutical industry. Bayer is effectively admitting that the drugs they develop are deliberately going to be rationed to the wealthiest patients.

This is a side-effect of the way drugs are developed today. Pharmaceutical companies are singularly focused on profit and so aggressively push for patents and high drug prices. Diseases that don’t promise a profit are neglected, and patients who can’t afford to pay are cut out of the picture. Drug companies claim to care about global health needs, but their track record says otherwise.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Medical innovation can be incentivized differently, and research paid for in ways that deliver drugs but without high prices that exclude millions of people from access. Instead of being part of the problem, drug companies should work to be part of the solution and change the dire state of medical research and development today.”

-    Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director, Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign