There are millions of people around the world who are living better lives because of the drugs that the pharmaceutical industry develops, but that doesn’t mean that the industry can continue to put Wall Street over patients.
The pharma industry, for the most part, continues to be target of media, politicians and patients. Over 30 companies have announced that they intend to increase prices in 2019 and insulin dependent diabetics are shelling out more money for insulin. The negativity is also driving people to cross a career in pharma marketing off their wish list as they have their pick of careers in a tight job market.
What a lot of people, outside the industry, don’t realize is that there are a LOT of very good people working within pharma who really do care about patients. I know because I have had the privilege to work with them this year. They’re trying to make a difference everyday and fighting for patients, often with little recognition or reward. Some are seen as “non-team players” and threatened with termination unless they get in line. Others leave the industry and never look back. I am one of the people that chooses to fight for patients because I love the industry and know the good we can do.
There will come a time when everyone working within pharma will have to make a choice. Fight for what you really believe in or remain quiet, collect your paycheck, and ignore the fact that thousands of people can’t afford their medications.
I understand that pharma is “a business” but I also know that if we make great products the profits will follow. I’m at a loss as to why pharma company CEO’s have not banded together to simply say “people who cannot afford our products will get them as we will find a way to ensure you never have to choose between getting your medication and putting food on the table”.
Tomorrow is Christmas and we will all be celebrating with family and friends but remember that some diseases never take a day off. In the end, we all need a sense of empathy to help patients and I hope that eventually the good people in pharma will choose to make a stand against the people who only look at balance sheets.