Magazine article New Internationalist

The Body Hunters

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Body Hunters

Article excerpt

The Body Hunters by Sonia Shah (The New Press ISBN 978 156584 912 9)

If ever there was an industry that believed the ends justify the means it has to be Pharmaceuticals. The ends in question are often believed to be pioneering drugs, but that's Big Pharma's PR spin. What really counts is profits. So drug research increasingly brings forth formulations for which there is a captive market (even if diseases need to be invented in order to fit the drug) and ignores the ailments of the poor. Sonia Shah predicts the result: 'a drug-marinated class of rich alongside a meds-famished poor'.

As more formulations vie to be tested than ever before, 'contract research organizations' (CROs) have entered the fray, facilitating the hunt for bodies to test drugs on. In yet one more form of industrial colonialism, the drugs that will eventually benefit mostly Western consumers who can afford to pay are being tested on the bodies of desperate people in the Majority World who cannot fund medical treatment. …

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