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Developing World Bioethics. 2001 May; 1(1):1-6.Many governments in developing countries, faced with millions of avoidable deaths of their citizens, have tried to import cheaper generic drugs from countries such as Thailand, Brazil and India. Invariably their attempts to save their citizens' lives has been met with lawsuits by pharmaceutical multinationals. Here are just a few examples of cases reported in local media in various developing countries. The picture that emerges is that of a global confrontation between pharmaceutical companies and the governments of developing countries. (author's)
[Unpublished] 1987 Jun.  p.To increase knowledge and proper use of low-dose oral contraceptives and increase availability of affordable contraception for low-income populations in the Dominican Republic, Profamilia (an IPPF affiliate) launched a communications/promotional campaign for Microgynon aimed at men and women under age 35. While strengthening Profamilia's marketing and organizational capabilities so that the program could be maintained without donor subsidies, the Profamilia name was used to communicate the idea of quality at low price. The message that Microgynon is a safe, effective, easily used, temporary method of birth control was relayed through a television commercial aired in 1986; through press releases; on display posters, stickers, matchbooks, memo pads, and bag inserts distributed to pharmacies; by educational/promotional meetings with the medical community; and by orientation sessions with pharmacy employees. Schering Dominica's sales network placed Microgynon in 83% of pharmacies in the Dominican Republic. It was priced significantly below comparable products. Of 500 randomly selected residents, 68% remembered seeing the television commercial. In interviews with 252 Microgynon purchasers, 65% said that they had started using Microgynon after the television advertising campaign. The campaign was successful in reaching the target group of women.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1983 May; 32(3):437-46.Following an overview of the less developed countries (LDCs) and their health problems, attention is directed to what pharmaceutical companies have been doing to develop tropical disease medicinals: past and current programs for the development of pharmaceuticals; the relationship of pharmaceuticals to other health problems; criticisms of the pharmaceutical industry; problems and constraints in developing drugs by pharmaceutical firms, particularly for tropical diseases; and strengthening incentives to pursue tropical medicine research in the future. There are 31 countries in the less developed category and they have 4 things in common: poverty; a high birthrate; a young population, and a low life expectancy. At the top of the list of the major health problems in developing countries are malaria, diarrheal diseases, and malnutrition. For malaria, there is a need for something new for chloroquine resistant infections, but research looks promising. Meanwhile, the use of presently available medications in much of the world would go far towards alleviating suffering and death from this disease. For diarrheal diseases and malnutrition the principal problems lie elsewhere than with development of new pharmaceuticals. For tuberculosis and leprosy, the 4th and 5th major health problems, therapy has improved markedly in recent years, yet there is room for improvement. Of the sexually transmitted diseases, only for sexually transmitted herpes is the industry missing a solution. On balance, it seems clear that the need for new pharmaceuticals, although important, is not as critical as some of the other needs of the LDCs. If this individual is correct in maintaining that the most important problems in the LDCs are pure water, adequate food, basic sanitation, and a distribution system for already available pharmaceuticals, then the question is why is the drug industry singled out for so much criticism. The principal charges, which are discussed in detail, are as follows: inadequate research on the endemic diseases of the developing and least developed countries; the practice of "dumping" drugs in developing countries that do not sell or sell for different indications at home; labeling of products differently than in the US; permitting over the counter sales of drugs that a prescription only goods in the US; selling products whose stated expiration date has passed; and charging high prices and reaping excessive profits. The critics are the UN agencies, consumer groups, trade unions, and media writers. Much of what is said is in defense of the pharmaceutical industry. but shortcomings are also noted.
Role of the pharmaceutical industry of the developing countries in research on fertility regulation.
In: Diczfalusy E, Diczfalusy A, ed. Research on the regulation of human fertility: needs of developing countries and priorities for the future, Vol. 2. Background documents. Copenhagen, Denmark, Scriptor, 1983. 975-86.The pharmaceutical industry of the developing countries is at present not equipped for and unlikely to contribute much to the discovery and development of new fertility regulating agents, but could play an effective role in process development, and in the organization of clinical trials. In view of the crucial role of the pharmaceutical industry to bring the research effort on a new contraceptive to fruition, and because of the waning interest of the industries of the developed countries in this field, the pharmaceutical companies of the developing countries should be encouraged to get involved in research by special incentives from their national governments, such as tax exemption for investment made for inhouse research of for sponsored research. The subsidiaries of multinational corporations, which dominate the pharmaceutical industry in the developing world, must establish research centers in these countries with efforts focussed on local priority health problems, such as contraceptive development; such research conducted in some of the developing countries would be more cost effective. It would be necessary to establish government or public sector research institutes to supplement the research facilities of the private industries, particularly for animal toxicology studies; these institutions could even serve as regional centers, supported by international agencies, since some of the smaller countries may not be able to develop their own centers. The collaboration between industrial, academic and public secotr institutions should be encouraged and formalized to establish partnership in research on contraceptive development; the exact mode and form would depend upon the scientific and technical institutional structure and industrial development status of each country. (author's modified)