by Mike Masnick
Fri, Sep 23rd 2011 8:07am
The Gates Foundation has plenty of opportunities to do some amazing things with the size of its fund and the ability of Bill Gates, in particular, to command attention. And, yet, hearing that it's now hired a former Big Pharma exec to run its Global Health Program has to make you wonder if the Gates Foundation is focused on increasing health in the world... or increasing the health of big pharmaceutical companies, which have been struggling lately. One of the biggest problems with healthcare today is making the debate pharmaceutical-centric, rather than health centric. Yes, drugs are a part of a comprehensive healthcare plan, but, too often, policymakers and groups let pharma firms drive the debate, when they're an (extremely) biased party that has a long history of not doing what's best for everyone's health, but what's best for their own profits. And, to be clear, I have no issue with pharmaceutical firms looking to maximize profit. But I do have issues when they use unfair or questionable means to do so, when that can create serious harm and limited access to medicines. The Gates Foundation could have totally changed the debate. But, instead, it seems to be doing the opposite.
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