HLTC02H3 Lecture Notes - Health Promotion

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12 Apr 2012
26th March, 2012
Lec 10: Big Pharma and Women
Week 11: Chapter 12 &13
Profile of Pharmaceutical Industry in Canada
Prohibition movements (Late 1920-1970):
Movement to stop having alcohol
Dry neighbourhood - no liquor stores in Western Toronto
Drugs- lots of money spent on them. Delayed the entry of generic drugs which are often cheaper
and even more effective than the branded ones
By 1996, profits for drug sector increased (shot-up)
The pharmaceutical industry Profitable and powerful economic sector
Total spending on: Hospitals vs. Drugs vs. Doctors and the value of new active substances
(drugs with molecules that have never been marketed before)
Hospital spending is the highest though
Benefits and disadvantages of Drugs
Older drugs are much better the newer ones do not significantly contribute
Benefits of Drugs
Drugs contribute to a decline in mortality, especially effective for infectious diseases but
not all the cures are attributable to drugs
Role of pharmaceuticals was important esp. in HIV/AIDS- Most notorious in HIV/AIDS
By 1997, people were able to live longer because of drugs BUT in poor
countries/continents like Africa, Haiti and India, people still do not have access to drugs for
Disadvantages of Drugs
Drugs help people to live longer but do not mean that they won’t die. There are very small
percentages of drugs that contribute. Example, In France, from 1981-2003 - ARVs (Anti-
retroviral) are the most significant. But industries always look for new markets to make
Most new drugs have no significant therapeutic advantage. Only the ones that were
beneficial were the anti-retroviral
Probably most spent on promotion than natural research and testing of drugs. In Canada,
roughly only $5 billion is spent on drugs and $75billion is spent on the promotion of drugs.
Often people have adverse reactions from some drugs.
Example: approx. 10-20% will be hospitalised due to serious reactions (>50 yrs), 15% of
patients will have an ADR, 5%-all admission to medical wards and 1-2% will die from
From the mid-1990s- up until ARVs were discovered mortalities were very high (at least in
rich countries)
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