Putting Profits Before People?
Over the past few weeks, giant pharmaceutical companies have once again come under fire for jacking up prices on a number of critical prescription drugs, including the lifesaving allergy treatment EpiPen, the leukemia-treating drug Iclusig, and insulin.
The mounting public outcry over these price hikes has shed new light on an old question: how to prevent the bottom-line interests of private, profit-driven drug companies from limiting people’s access to affordable life-and-death medicines.
The critically acclaimed film Fire in the Blood focuses on exactly this issue, reminding us of the potentially devastating human cost of allowing pharmaceutical companies to control access to lifesaving drugs through pricing.
Fire in the Blood details how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs in Africa and the global south in the 1990s, leading to the preventable deaths of at least ten million people.
The film is a gripping look at corporate greed and government collusion, the cutthroat economics of medicine and healthcare, and the power of ordinary people to make meaningful change on a global scale.
Fire in the Blood is a powerful resource for courses that look at health issues, public policy, economic inequality, corporate power, and public relations.
For another critical look at the pharmaceutical industry, take a look at Big Bucks, Big Pharma, which examines how prescription drugs are marketed and advertised. The film exposes the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created, to maximize profits.