The health system as a common good and the fight against big pharma – with special regard to Europe


Andrey Popov /

Watch the full video of the second webinar of transform! europe’s Commons working group.


The common goods’ point of view seems to us to be a particularly useful and profitable point of view for understanding the crisis of the pandemic, both on the health and on the economic and social aspect.

This also, and above all, to define the answers to get out of this crisis, identifying the forms of a new economic and social model.

The first element that appears decisive is undoubtedly the health system. The role of the public in addressing the crisis is a fact acquired for both the general public opinion and for the economic and political elites themselves, but only through the role of democratic control of health as a common good, it is possible to prevent a return of the logic of market that have brought us to this point, with decades of cuts in healthcare spending and with a privatization process that has demonstrated weakness in dealing with the situation.

After decades of TINA (there is not alternative) in which the collective interest was denied, the pandemic offers us the opportunity to question this mantra and impose political choices in favor of the well-being of citizens and communities.

Starting from the point of view of common goods also means including the terrain of social conflict, without which no result is possible. Every social conquest is the result of the mobilization and fight, the conception of common goods must be able to include and promote this aspect, in order to advance the change in the current economic paradigm.

Another dimension that we intend to focus on is the dimension of the crisis of globalism that the pandemic highlights. The only antidote to xenophobic and reactionary nationalism that this crisis could be promoted in each country, is an international response of solidarity and satisfaction of the needs and interests of people at the expense of the interests of multinationals and finance, reinforcing the democratic participation and “using” the solidarity experience we have seen during the crisis.

For this reason, we plan to promote, in cooperation with AEPF, Asia Europe People’s Forum, three events that focus on decisive aspects.


Marisa Matias, Member of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL
Nicoletta Dentico, S.I.D., Geneva Global Health Hub
Sangeeta Shashikant, ThirdWorldnetwork, Expert on Big Pharma, London

Coordination: Birgit Daiber