Compare and Contrast the Role of Pharmaceutical and Tobacco Companies in Improving Health in Ledc’s Essay

Compare and contrast the role of pharmaceutical and tobacco companies in improving health in LEDC’s Transnational corporations such as pharmaceutical and tobacco companies play a large role to determine whether a countries health can be improved through their manufactured products such as medicines and cigarettes. Pharmaceutical corporations operate in a global market developing and selling drugs that prolongs and makes people’s lives better. But still, they are companies which aim to maximise profits so such firms as GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson must consider the factors in which to do so.

For example, do they introduce set prices globally or do they vary the price so suit the economies current status? Luckily this is the case; in 2006 GSK donated 155 million albendazole tablets to help eliminate lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) making almost 600 million treatments in total. Drugs nowadays are widely available in all economically developed countries but not so much in LEDC’s mainly due to they are unable to afford them. This is why pharmaceutical companies sell them at a much cheaper price. For example HIV/AIDS drugs were sold at a loss to Africa for the treatments that the poorest country needs.

It has been estimated that roughly 900,000 lives will be saved by 2015 increasing to 7 million in 2030. In 2006 GSK shipped 206 million tablets of HIV treatments to developing countries, including 120 million tablets supplied by generics manufactures licensed by them. This is one of the many ways in which pharmaceutical companies help to improve the health in LEDC’s, bring down the price paid by developing countries and to prevent high prices from excluding poor people from access to these life-saving products.

The British American Tobacco company, Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher (UK-based tobacco corporations) account for 23. 7% of the worlds market which produces 954 billion cigarettes every year. The whole tobacco industry creates over 5000 billion cigarettes. Obviously tobacco decreases the life expectancy and has been estimated that smoking is responsible for 6 million deaths per year worldwide and seriously damages the health of many millions more. However, they can be beneficial to LEDC farmers.

For example, BAT is made up of a chain of 250,000 farmers which includes a programme that address the social and environmental issues such as improving soil and water conservation, appropriate use of agrochemicals and environmental, occupational health and safety. BAT also donated ? 250,000 to the local community to regenerate the local income, this lead to under 1000 farmers working on large areas of rich soil land to produce French beans which could be sold to make profit and keep the community running.