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Georgetown EFS Prompt, current global issue (medicine)


Serendipity545 2 / 6  
Jan 15, 2010   #1
Prompt: Briefly discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.

Inside my cabinet is the magic pill: my Z-pack. Just pop six pills over five days and suddenly I am back from the brink of near death and once again normal, rushing around to make up for lost time. Zithromicin is a powerful prescription antibiotic that is a staple of my family's medicine cabinet, whatever the time of year. So when I got the shakes and fever in the winter of my junior year, to find out there were no Z-packs in the cabinet, I was bewildered. My father sat me down and bottom-lined it for me: Z packs cost $30 dollars with our insurance, but over $100 dollars without, and we could not afford them at the moment.

That conversation was a wake up call for me: if my upper middle class family could not afford some medicines, how on Earth do others fare? My second thought was: how can I help fix this? To me, being healthy is one of the most important aspects of a person's life and to be denied the same opportunities to be healthy is a massive inequality that should be corrected. In the world, some families live on dollars a day, in regions rife with diseases most of us in America consider extinct. Children growing up in developing or industrialized countries are exposed to a much wider varies of dangers and illnesses, with less availability to medicines even if they could afford them. Kids my own age are still dying of HIV, TB, and malaria today because the medicines that could save their lives are too expensive, a horrifying reality that makes me want to save the world as if I were a superhero.

Why is medicine so expensive? One reason is that in 2000, a law went into effect extending the patents of prescription medicines to ten years. No other company was allowed to make, market, or sell cheaper, generic versions of the medicine for an entire decade. Companies have been fined and people have been arrested for violating these patents when they shipped generic HIV medicine to developing countries that could not afford the real medicine.

While I support patents and the right to own your work, ten years is much too long of a time to wait before the people who need the medicine can access it. If it were in my power I would reduce the patents to six years, and allow other companies to test and create cheaper drugs after two, but only selling when the patent expires. Any family earning below a standardized poverty line would be given a price that they would be able to afford as well as a way to access the medicine when needed.

Of course, providing medicine to over one billion people, the number of people who currently have no access to even basic medicines, cannot possibly be as simple as that. In order for us to alleviate the suffering in this world we need people from all countries and all fields to work. We need scientists to create the medicines that could save these lives, policy makers to create ways that will allow for fair distribution, people to administer the medicine, and watchdogs over all parts of the system to make sure it runs smoothly. To alleviate suffering and neglect in this world, we need cooperative, coordinative effort to occur, and you can count on me to be in the middle of it all when the time comes. I may not be a superhero for doing it, but I will be happy to help in any way I can.

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Grammar/spelling/general comments/like-hate-love/suggestions welcome and needed!

I will THOROUGHLY look over your essay in exchange.

almacubana 5 / 19  
Jan 15, 2010   #2
Give me a few mins, k? breathe! Thanks 4 reviewing mine ^_^
OP Serendipity545 2 / 6  
Jan 15, 2010   #3
Oh, no problem. :)

I'm usually not this high-strung, I swear. Lack of sleep must be getting to me. :(
almacubana 5 / 19  
Jan 15, 2010   #4
and suddenly I am suddenly back from the brink of near(it's redundant because you use "brink" before) death

developing or industrialized (do u mean non-industrialized?) countries

much wider variesvariety

Kids my own age are still dying of HIV, TB, and malaria today <rewrite? make this sentence more powerful like:Every something minutes, kids my own age are currently dying.... simply because

In order for us to alleviate the suffering in this world,(worldwide suffering might be better used?) we need people from all countries and all fields to worktake action .

i really liked ur essay. it's strong and well written. ur intro drew me in.
i'm not too convinced about that last sentence though.
almacubana 5 / 19  
Jan 15, 2010   #6
ur welcome. and good luck!!!!! ^_^
Logical_Fella_C - / 33  
Jan 15, 2010   #7
Children growing up in developing or industrialized countries are exposed to a much wider variesvariety of dangers and illnesses, with less availability to medicines even if they could afford them.

Kids my own age are still dying of HIV, TB, and malaria today because the medicines that could save their lives are too expensive, a horrifying reality that makes me want to save the world as if I were a superhero.

"as if I were a superhero" sounds awkward.

Of course, providing medicine to over one billion people, the number of people who currently have no access to even basic medicines,

The conclusion is proper but generic. I can't think of any better alternatives though. :/

Good luck!


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