I pose the question, should people be making money out of the ill health of others? An important role of government has always been that of providing healthcare to its citizens. The capitalist free enterprise system is heavily predicated on the profit motive. In recent decades, the world has been sold on the concept of ‘trickle down economics’, where the wealthy are largely left untaxed to get on with the business of making money, in the hope that money will trickle down to the many poorer people below them on the food chain. The United States of America has been the greatest proponent of the neoliberalist economic philosophy.
America the Land of Free Enterprise
In the US, corporate pharmaceutical giants are making money out of ill health on a mega scale. America has always been ‘the land of the free’, according to their patriotic spin. Perhaps, that should read ‘free market’, which is free of regulation and free of government oversight. Rampant profiteering is the order of the day in the USA, where people aspire to mega wealth. Donald Trump is the president of this nation. Barack Obama had to fight incredibly hard to get his Obamacare health insurance measures into law. This is a country that defends its rights for its citizens to bear arms.
Pharmaceutical Companies are Defining Health in the 21C
If companies are selling health, then, they have an economic motivation to define health. Witness the massive rise in the sales and consumption of antidepressant medications. Big Pharma courts the MDs and GPs in all the nations that practice free enterprise medicine around the globe. They buy these doctors expensive dinners and holidays in a tacit exchange for their services in prescribing their pharmaceutical products to their patients. This is, merely, one example of the many healthcare products and services, which are marketed via our capitalist free enterprise system.
Big Pharma Rules the Roost
Many of these services are unnecessary and surplus to the actual health and wellbeing of people within our societies. There are alternative healthcare products, which are not produced by these pharmaceutical corporate giants. Click here to see for yourself an example of a quality complementary medicine manufacturer in Australia. Unfortunately, many of these businesses are bought up by Big Pharma in a bid to rationalise the market and control the healthcare dollar spend globally. As governments become less and less powerful in this neoliberalist world, the checks and balances are further lost, and rampant profiteering remains.