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Health for Sale

The film investigates the problem of access to essential pharmaceutical drugs in developing countries, taking into account economic, political, medical and social perspectives. Why is it that 15 million people die from easily curable diseases in the Southern hemisphere every year? That's 40,000 people a day, a stadium on Cup Final day. A daily massacre that could so easily be avoided. Why isn't it? In an attempt to answer this question, the documentary links together the First and Third World in a long trip inside the Pharma maze.

The worldwide pharmaceutical market is dominated by the so-called Big-Pharma, which is composed by no more than 10 pharmaceutical companies based in USA or Europe. Thanks to the TRIPS Agreements, created by the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 1995, medicines is treated like any other goods. This means that the pharmaceutical companies owning the large number of patents on drugs worldwide can act as monopolists deciding and imposing the prizes. Further more they can decide the type of research to be made, without taking into consideration the needs of developing countries.