Close X
Get more out of
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.

Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

What Doctors Don't Tell You

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

November 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 9)

For the benefit of mankind (but shareholders first)



Bryan Hubbard is Publisher and co-editor of WDDTY. He is a former Financial Times journalist. He is a Philosophy graduate of London University. Bryan is also the author of several books, including The Untrue Story of You and Secrets of the Drugs Industry.


Diet, cheese, fat, full-fat diet














For the benefit of mankind (but shareholders first)

November 29th 2007, 09:52

For that small handful of you who remain convinced that the pharmaceutical industry is there solely for the benefit of mankind, please read on (and if you already know it's not, please read on as well, otherwise I'll lose my entire audience in the first paragraph).

The money-making ways of the drugs industry are well known to many doctors, researchers, academics, and politicians (some of whom have shamelessly taken bribes, donations and gifts from a drug company or three) - now they're known to the well-meaning delegates of the World Health Organization (WHO).

As millions of people in developing countries die needlessly each year, the WHO thought it would be quite a good idea if drugs and research could be made available to these poorer nations and people.

In all, 193 member states participated in the initial review phase, and then invited interested groups - such as the drug companies - to add their views to the strategy.

To nobody's great surprise within WHO, 11 of the 12 drug-industry groups hid behind the needs of intellectual property (IP) to protect their research and patents. In other words, they would have loved to help those poor, dying people, but IP is IP.

But what did surprise the delegates was that 11 of the 14 patient groups that were consulted sympathised with the drug industry's position, and agreed with them that life may be sacred, but IP (and the interests of shareholders) is more so.

On closer examination, the delegates discovered that the groups happened to be receiving generous grants from. . .(oh, do I really have to say it?)

The delegates were also disappointed to read that the submissions from the patients' groups used identical phrases. It was almost as if they were taking dictation from. . .(oh, do I really have to say it?)

Representatives from Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India, who attended the WHO meeting, wrote about their concerns in The Lancet the other week. In a wonderfully understated statement, they said: ". . .we have serious doubts as to the motives and the credibility of these submissions to the public hearing."

At the end, they also wrote: "We declare that we have no conflict of interest." Now that's a phrase you don't see too often in the pages of The Lancet.

Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions..

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

© 2010 - 2018 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved