Tuesday, May 05, 2009


There is a popular concept of the medical professions as being above sordid commercialism and being motivated only by care for human suffering. However, we live inside a capitalist society where the profit motive pervades every field of human activity. This news item is an example of how this lust for profit can lead to unnecessary suffering, even death.
"Stocks of hundreds of medicines are running low as British pharmacies export UK supplies to profit from the weakness of the pound. Evidence has emerged that pharmacists are over-ordering drugs, a practice known as "skimming", with a view to selling the stock overseas and profiting from higher prices in foreign currencies. ...The wholesalers fear that the exports, which have led to temporary shortages, could potentially keep some patients from receiving the medicines they need in time and result in death." (Times, 4 May) RD

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