Fluoride toothpaste too pricey for world’s poor

June 13th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 13 (IANS) The world’s poorest have the least access to fluoride toothpaste, widely used to prevent dental decay, according to a new study that urges MNCs to lower prices in developing countries. Globalisation has spurred a tendency to eat a more westernised diet, which is higher in carbohydrates and refined sugars, causing an increase of tooth decay in developing countries.

The cost and lack of dental care in poorer countries means that tooth decay usually remains untreated.

Researchers attribute its low use to steep cost in some parts of the world. This study is the first to attempt to quantify the affordability of toothpaste across the globe.

“Because of fluoride toothpaste’s importance in preventing tooth decay, it must be made more available to the world’s poorest,” said Ann Goldman of George Washington University.

One way to do it is to exempt the toothpaste from taxes, encouraging local manufacture of the product and persuading MNCs to implement different pricing policies for poor countries.

The research team compared the relative affordability of fluoride toothpaste in 48 countries.

The findings of the study have been published in the open access journal Globalisation and Health.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |