The Pope to the Pharmaceutical Bank: Not having access to medicines is an injustice

Speech of the Holy Father to the members of the Fundación “Banco Farmacéutico”, an institution that was born in 2000 and is in charge of collecting medicines from donors and industries to distribute them in thousands of charitable infrastructures for the care of poor people who cannot acquire these medicines.

Renato Martinez – Vatican City

“Pharmaceutical companies, by supporting research and guiding production, can contribute generously to a more equitable distribution of medicines,” said Pope Francis in his speech to the members of the “Pharmaceutical Bank” Foundation, whom he received in audience this Saturday, September 19, 2020, in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican.

Pharmaceutical marginality

In his speech, the Holy Father recalled that this year the Pharmaceutical Bank celebrates 20 years of foundation and since 2000 it has come a long way, extending its presence throughout Italy and in other countries, assisting and providing medicines to the poorest . “Those who live in poverty – pointed out the Pontiff – are poor in everything, even medicines, and therefore their health is more vulnerable.” Sometimes you run the risk of not being able to receive treatment due to lack of money or because some people in the world do not have access to certain medicines. There is also a “pharmaceutical marginality,” said the Pope, and this creates a new gap between nations and between peoples.

Globalize healing

Likewise, Pope Francis pointed out that, on the ethical level, if there is the possibility of curing a disease with a medicine, it must be available to everyone, otherwise an injustice is created. “Too many people, too many children continue to die in the world because they cannot have that drug that is available in other regions – said the Pontiff – we know the danger of the globalization of indifference; instead, I propose to globalize the cure, that is, the possibility of access to those medicines that could save so many lives for all populations ”. For this, he added, we need a common effort, a convergence that involves everyone.

Equitable distribution of medicines

In addition, the Holy Father encouraged the members of the Pharmaceutical Bank that scientific research can advance in the search for new solutions to old and new problems. “The work of so many researchers is valuable and represents a magnificent example of how study and human intelligence are able to grow, as far as possible, new ways of healing and healing.” Therefore, the Pope said, pharmaceutical companies, supporting research and guiding production, can contribute generously to a more equitable distribution of medicines.

Attention service to the most needy

In this sense, Pope Francis said that pharmacists are called to provide a service of close attention to the people most in need, and with science and conscience they work for the integral good of those who come to them. Also the rulers, through legislative and financial options, are called to build a more just world in which the poor are not abandoned.

Anti-Covid vaccine for all

Finally, the Pontiff recalled that the recent experience of the pandemic, in addition to a major health emergency in which almost a million people have already died, is turning into a serious economic crisis, which continues to generate poor people and families who do not they know how to get ahead. While charitable assistance is being provided, it is also trying to combat this pharmaceutical poverty, particularly with the widespread use of new vaccines around the world. I repeat that it would be sad if, in providing the vaccine, priority were given to the wealthiest, or if this vaccine became the property of this or that nation, and was not for everyone. “It will have to be universal for everyone.”


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