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Cuban Experts Denounces Inequality in the Access to Pharmaceutical Drugs as a Global Problem

Havana, October 18 (RHC)-- Inequalities in the access to medical drugs is a global problem that curtails the rights of most of the world’s population, said doctor Agustin Lage, Director General of Cuba´s Center for Molecular Immunology Center, one of the flagships of the High Tech Pharma and Medical sector in the Caribbean Largest Island.

In a speech to the First Conference of Strategic Studies, underway in Havana, Dr. Lage recalled statistics issued by the UN World Health Organization revealing that 15 percent of the world´s population consumes 90 percent of the medical drugs produced globally.

The World Health Organization also considers that drug prices are very high and most of the patients that need medicines cannot afford them.

In developing nations, he said, medicines account for 70 percent of health expenditures. On the other hand, the World Health Organization said, drug manufacturers spend less than 10 percent of their resources on research on new drugs to face diseases that cause 90 percent of deaths.

Dr. Lage told delegates at the forum that there are four factors that separate patients from drugs, such as the high prices, intellectual property rights, regulatory barriers and technical and scientific insufficiencies. He noted that the so-called third world has 80 percent of the population of the world, but barely four percent of the pharmaceutical patents.

The Cuban experience on research and production of new drugs began in the 1980s and its results have been positive. The island's Biotechnology sector employs over seven thousand scientists and has produced new products highly regarded in Cuba and other nations of the world.

Edited by Juan Leandro
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