2.3 The life sciences sector in perspective
Before leaving the ‘big picture’ of the evolution of the pharmaceutical industry, it is important not to give the impression that it is the sole, or necessarily even the central, player in health provision. As in any other industry, it can contribute only because it operates in a wider sphere populated not only by other institutions and organisations but also by more amorphous socio-political ambitions, values and beliefs. For example, the medical technology industry facilitates health by providing diagnostics and devices: the Government facilitates healthcare by financing it. Equally important, perhaps, but less tangibly, there is public acceptance of the desirability of improving health. Consider also those industries that could facilitate health by disappearing: for example, the tobacco industry and the arms industry.