What good is a breakthrough treatment if the people who need it can’t afford it?
Safe, affordable and effective medicines are essential for good health, but for many people these lifesaving products are still a luxury. An estimated two billion people worldwide have no access to essential medicines and vaccines. From the excruciating pain of a child’s earache to women who bleed to death during childbirth, lack of access to medicines results in significant pain and millions of preventable deaths every year.
Medicines shouldn’t be a luxury, but the multinational pharmaceutical industry has had almost unlimited pricing power, prioritising profits over people’s health. Children miss out on lifesaving vaccines when costs are too high, and often our teams cannot treat patients because medicines are too expensive, no longer produced, or are highly toxic or ineffective, with no one researching better treatment options.
As a medical humanitarian organisation, MSF believes that people should not be denied access to lifesaving or health-promoting interventions for the sake of profit. Medicines must be affordable, accessible, good quality and safe. Keeping the cost of drugs low means that those living in low- and middle-income countries can still access these essential treatments and preventative measures.