Vatican cardinal decries “trafficking in human suffering”

.- Commenting on the absence of medicines due to high prices in many countries, especially those that are poor, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, has called on the pharmaceutical lobbyists to “not traffic in human suffering.”

During the 21st international conference of the dicastery on the subject, “Pastoral aspects on the cure of infectious diseases,” the cardinal decried the existence of “a lobby of pharmaceutical companies in the United States that exert great pressure” in keeping “certain medicines out of many countries because of their high prices, even in poor countries. The consequences of all this is that many people in the world die because of lack of these medicines.  Today we are strongly calling on them not to traffic in human suffering,” he said.

In noting that in recent years infectious diseases have become a major cause of death throughout the world, Cardinal Barragan stressed the dedication of the Church in caring for the infirm.

“We have 113,000 health care centers in the world where these diseases are treated.  We can’t say what the Church will do in the future” reaching out to those suffering from illnesses such as AIDS, “but we can explain what she is doing in the present.  The international conference we have each year does not seek to foster action by the Church but rather to shed greater light in order to make it more effective,” the cardinal said.
Cardinal Lozano expressed his closeness to those who suffer from these diseases and he reminded them that “the Holy Father is always by their side, he cares for them through this Pontifical Council,” and “the Good Samaritan Foundation, founded by John Paul II and confirmed by Benedict XVI, has been created for helping to find cures for the most vulnerable of the world’s infirm.”

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