- Albert Einstein
The news about anaesthetic drug shortages in the US started in 2009. At that time Arnold Berry, MD, MPH, vice president for scientific affairs for the American Society of Anaesthesiologists said a low profit margin on some anaesthetics, including propofol, led Israel’s Tevol Pharmaceutical Industries and Hospira Inc. of Lake Forest III to halt production and recall some batches of the sedative due to quality-control issues.
2 years later Berry says that the growing concern is that the problem of anaesthetic drug shortages is not going away any time soon. “The American Society of Health System Pharmacists helps keep track of drug shortages,” he says. “And according to [the Society’s] information, 2010 was the year with the greatest number of drugs in short supply since they’ve kept track. And 2011 is shaping up to be just as bad.” (physician’smoneydigest.com, April 12th, 2011).
Now, 3 years after the first report of anaesthetic drug shortages, ABC News broadcasts that seven US anaesthesiologists reported drug shortages have resulted in the deaths of their patients (April 16, 2012). A worsening problem like this at the turn of the 21st century, in the United States of America, the richest and most powerful country of the world is alarming.
Meanwhile according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, latest world military spending reached a record $ 1,738 billion in 2011- an increase of $ 138 billion over the previous year. The United States accounted for 41 percent of that or $ 711 billion (Lawrence Wittner, huffingtonpost.com, April 24, 2012). The tax-payers money is not used for the benefit of the same people, but for the business of butchering others.
Why do we have constant shortages of life saving medications on one hand, and skyrocketing increase on arms production on the other? The answer is that the business of saving lives is not profitable enough for the corporations, while the war as General Smedley Butler once said is a rocket. War is the business of killing, maiming, disintegration, and destruction of societies, and the planet itself, but is a rocket!
Now let us consider some examples of what war brought up to the occupied war torn Afghanistan and Iraq.
Children are smuggled from Afghanistan to neighbouring countries to be sold as sex slaves, or for their organs to be harvested (From a report by BBC News, February 20, 2012).
And in Iraq, doctors in the war-ravaged enclave of Fallujah are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants, compared to a year ago, and a spike in early life cancers that may be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting (The Guardian, November 13, 2009). Now, after at first denying the use of phosphorous shells during the second battle of Fallujah, US forces later admitted that they had fired the munitions against buildings in the city. Independent reports have spoken of a birth-defect rate in Fallujah far higher than other areas of Iraq (The Independent, April 25, 2012).
And these calamities are only the tip of the iceberg.
Yet we still have to see what happened recently to the Libyan people and their country, and in the future possible wars in Syria or Iran.
Driven by its greed, the private sector is looking after its profits and not the well-being of the people, no matter how harmful their actions will be for the functioning of a society, and of course the private sector is the pillar of capitalism.
Capitalism has reached its bottom line. After 600 years of journey finally it arrived at its dead end. That is why things are getting worse day by day. In the US and around the world, there are enough scientists and economists that really want to fix the economy and save the capitalist system as a whole, but they are not able to, because the economy is governed by its own rules; palliatives only cover up the disease and will worsen it. The remedy is that the wealth of a society must be used for the benefits of their own people, and not for the pockets of corporations. It won’t be possible unless the public realizes, unites and takes the matters in its own hands!