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Fire in the Blood

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product description

Fire In The Blood (2013) is a powerful and multiple-award winning documentary from India directed by Dylan Mohan Gray. It focuses on the profits-first attitude of big Western pharmaceutical companies that blocked access to low-cost AIDS medicine to poor countries, resulting in the death of millions, which could have been avoided.

In the mid 1990’s, antiretroviral (ARV) drugs became available to combat AIDS. The drugs, made by huge Western pharmaceuticals, held out hope for those whose lives were threatened by the deadly disease. However, there was one catch. The cost of these drugs were so high, only the comparatively wealthy could afford this treatment.

Fire In The Blood documents how the drug companies used their powerful influence over American and European governments to retain their hold on the market. They claimed that they needed to protect their patents and sought to block availability of cheaper drugs that could have saved many lives.

However, the situation began to change from 2000. An Indian pharmaceutical, Cipla, made available a generic ARV drug cocktail at a fraction of the cost of similar drugs from the Western companies. India does not have drug patents and Cipla’s Chairman Yusuf Hamied wanted to help patients in India and other developing countries that were in need of cheaper drugs to combat AIDS.

Featuring interviews with key players in the effort to make affordable treatments available to all countries in the world, this documentary gets across a powerful message: How much does profit matter when it is pitted against the lives of millions?

Western drug companies point out that research on the new forms of medical treatments costs huge amounts, and without the ability to patent these drugs and profit from them, drug companies would lose the motive to make new drugs to treat diseases. However, this film asks where does one draw the line. Do drug companies have the right to charge around 30 times the cost of making the drugs while they could be made available much cheaper is a question raised in the documentary. These drug companies even slapped lawsuits on the governments of the countries that sought to make cheaper generic drugs available to their people.

Featuring interviews with people like Bill Clinton, Cipla Chairman Yusuf Hamied, African doctor and medical researcher Peter Mugyenyi, and AIDS activist Zackie Achmat, this hard-hitting documentary raises many questions over the global society’s policies and priorities.

Fire In The Blood (2013) also finishes with a cautionary note that the situation might be better now, but the confrontation is not yet over. The WTO may have ruled that governments could prioritise public health over international patent policies,But the drug companies are lobbying to force other countries to enforce patent laws similar to those existing in America and Europe. This is done to ultimately make the availability of cheaper generic drugs more difficult.

Narrated by actor William Hurt, this documentary won numerous awards including Justice Matters Award, DOXA Feature Documentary Award, and Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the Best Debut Film for a Director.

Moser Baer released this one disc DVD of the film in 2014. It is rated U and has a runtime of around 90 minutes.


Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 5 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: U (Universal)
  • Studio: Moserbaer
  • Product Release Date: 21 Sep 2014
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00K15TJKQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,209 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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