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Health For Sale

Distributed by California Newsreel, Order Dept., PO Box 2284, South Burlington, VT 05407; 877-811-7495 (toll free)
Produced by Ilaria Malagutti
Directed by Michele Mellara and Alessandro Rossi
DVD, color, 53 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Health Sciences, Pharmaceutical Industry

Reviewed by Gerald Notaro, University Librarian, Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Date Entered: 1/15/2009

Health For Sale presents a refreshingly unique international perspective to a global concern, the unavailability of needed drugs in poorer, third world countries from large the pharmaceutical companies. Thanks to World Trade Organization agreements, patented medicines remain expensive and patent owners hold market monopolies worldwide with no competition. Developing countries, such as India, are the leaders in manufacture of generic drugs, which in turn are sold to Third World countries who could not afford the patent drugs of developed countries. They are clear in stating they are not against compensation for research and development, but are against monopolies. The documentary takes viewers into the slums of Mumbai to hear from HIV infected residents. They suffer most from the lack of needed drugs and medicines. Research on diseases like AIDS leans towards expensive, limited, and targeted treatment rather than to inexpensive tools of health management. It is especially lacking with treatment of children. The privatization of health care has lead to only those in a needed market with proper funding being served. Since the release Health For Sale, the drug industry, through its trade organization PhRMA, has conceded slow growth and a negative image and has begun stricter self- regulation. Recommended for purchase.