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Film review
Bad doings at Big Pharma (Old times)
  1. Yasmin El Derby, Freelance film-maker and film curator
  1. Correspondence to Yasmin El Derby, 20 The Green, London W3 7PQ, UK; yasmin.elderby{at}

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Fire in the Blood. Directed by Dylan Mohan Gray, India, 2012

An estimated 34 million people live with an HIV-positive status across the globe (70% of that figure in sub-Saharan Africa)—a pandemic that is not going away any time soon. One of the most controversial issues surrounding the global management of HIV is explored by Canadian-raised, Indian/ Irish director and writer Dylan Mohan Gray in his documentary Fire in the Blood—an eye-opening look at the practices of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies that produce HIV medication and the governments who tolerate their commercial practices (figure 1).

The film, which was an ‘official selection’ at the Sundance Film Festival in the USA earlier this year, has the tagline ‘Medicine, Monopoly, Malice’ and examines how millions of people in developing nations have been denied access to antiretroviral HIV medications (ARVs) since the advent of the drugs in 1996. Director Gray reveals what he calls a ‘crisis of humanity’, in which trade patents and profits have come before human lives. International trade systems may not …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.