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Fw: Health, Humanitarianism and Trade

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  • Weber
    Back to my soap box...Health, Humanitarianism and Trade (AIDS gives the whole issue focus) ****The portions in quotes and bold are taken from an Associated
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 12 1:02 PM
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      Back to my soap box...Health, Humanitarianism and Trade (AIDS gives the whole issue focus)
       
       
      ****The portions in quotes and bold are taken from an Associated Press article that appeared in one of our local newspapers on November 8.
       
      You've probably read about the Indian drug company offering to supply AIDS drugs to Doctors Without Borders at 3.5% of the cost charged by Western drug manufacturers as long as they are distributed free.  "$350/yr instead of $10,000 to 15,000/yr"
       
      The "decision could revolutionize the treatment of HIV patients in developing countries but it is unclear if the companies holding patents on the drugs will go along"
       
      "Anjuli Gopalan, executive director of an advocacy group for AIDS patients in India warned the proposal could get India into 'a lot of trouble' because of international patent laws enforced under the WTO"
       
      If the western drug companies pressure their national governments to take the issue to the WTO to enforce the international patent laws "punitive trade sanctions can be imposed on India for this.  But whether the big drug companies pressure their governments to bring a case in the WTO remains to be seen considering the sensitivity of the issue." 
       
      The drug companies are considering whether to take action or not.  "As a consequence of that, questions have to be raised about the sustainability of the offer".
       
      " 'This is my contribution to fighting AIDS,' Yusuf Hamied (chairman of Cipra, the Indian drug company) said.  'AIDS is going to be a bigger holocaust in India than the earthquake.' "   .........if that offer can be carried out.
       
      My comment to this is that 2 years ago few people here knew about this as a trade issue and it went on without notice..the power of public awareness and response has been heartening.
       
      ********************************************************************************
       And also this about a British based group
       
                     DRUGS: Oxfam Launches Campaign To Fight
                      High Prices
       
                      Charity group Oxfam launched its "Cut the Cost" campaign today to raise public
                 awareness of the high prices charged by drug companies in the world's poorest
                 countries.
                      "The global pharmaceuticals industry runs a great risk if it continues to protect its
                 profits and drug patents at all costs," said Justin Forsyth, Oxfam's policy director.
                 "This is the shadowy side of globalization" (Diane Coyle, London Independent, 12
                 Feb).
                      Oxfam accuses drug companies of valuing profit over the lives of people in
                 developing countries. While pharmaceutical companies argue that bringing new
                 medicines to the market can be expensive -- with an estimated cost of $1 billion --
                 campaigners argue that 90% of new medicines are designed for 10% of the world's
                 population, mainly in rich countries (Sarah Boseley, London Guardian, 12 Feb).
                      Oxfam estimates that 11 million people in developing countries die each year
                 from preventable illnesses. In addition, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan
                 Africa has made the issue more complicated, according to the London
                 Independent. The United Nations estimates that 25 million people in sub-Saharan
                 Africa will die from opportunistic infections due to HIV/AIDS.
       
                 Oxfam Targets Largest Drug Company
                      Oxfam singled out drug company GlaxoSmithKline in its campaign, calling for it
                 to withdraw its legal challenge to efforts by developing countries to import cheaper
                 medicines from overseas (Coyle, London Independent).
                      Large institutional investors in GlaxoSmithKline, such as Friends Ivory Simes,
                 which invested $1.4 billion in the drug company, support Oxfam's campaign. "If
                 millions of Africans are dying of preventable disease and one reason is that drug
                 companies are charging too much, you have a serious reputational risk," said Craig
                 Mackenzie, director of governance for Friends Ivory Simes (David Pilling,
                 Financial Times, 12 Feb).
                      Developing countries are required under World Trade Organization provisions
                 to pass patent laws by 2006 to simplify legal challenges against the use of generic
                 drugs. Even though international regulations allow patents to be overridden in the
                 case of overwhelming public need, most developing countries lack the resources to
                 fight Western companies in court (Coyle, London Independent).
                      "It's hard to understand [GlaxoSmithKline]'s reason for pursuing this particularly
                 narrow interpretation of what is permissible ... in poor countries struggling to
                 combat the AIDS epidemic," Oxfam said (David Pilling, Financial Times II, 12
                 Feb).
       
       
       
       
       
    • Paul DEVER
      I must say that I agree... I understand the concept of Research and Development costs, but at the same time, the obscene bonuses and salaries paid to CEOs
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 13 2:35 PM
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        I must say that I agree...

        I understand the concept of Research and Development costs, but at the same
        time, the obscene bonuses and salaries paid to CEOs kind of overshadows the
        assistance that could be done with that money.

        Similar to software: there is no logical reason that anyone purchasing
        Microsoft Office should shell out $400 for it...there hav not been
        significant changes for the average user in ten years (it still tpyes a
        letter for you and helps you balance your checkbook...which is I think what
        most people do).

        Again, with record companies...royalties....etc.

        I now relinquish the soapbox back to Cathy.
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      • Kenneth E. Shockley
        Well, I d agree that there haven t been improvements that justify shelling out the cash for each new revisions, and there are som other serious problems. I
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 13 3:10 PM
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          Well, I'd agree that there haven't been improvements that justify shelling
          out the cash for each new revisions, and there are som other serious
          problems. I certainly wouldn't want to vindicate large corporations, but
          Paul, you might recognize the value of a good editor and spell-checker...

          > ...there hav not been
          > significant changes for the average user in ten years (it still tpyes a
          > letter for you and helps you balance your checkbook...


          Have a nice day. It's 90 today in Canberra.

          Ken
        • Kenneth E. Shockley
          er, that should have read ...each new revision, and there are some other... the irony, the shame _________________________ Kenneth Shockley Department of
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 13 3:14 PM
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            er, that should have read '...each new revision, and there are some
            other...'

            the irony, the shame

            _________________________
            Kenneth Shockley
            Department of Philosophy
            Campus Box 1073
            Washington University
            St. Louis, MO 63130


            On Tue, 13 Feb 2001, Kenneth E. Shockley wrote:

            > Well, I'd agree that there haven't been improvements that justify shelling
            > out the cash for each new revisions, and there are som other serious
            > problems. I certainly wouldn't want to vindicate large corporations, but
            > Paul, you might recognize the value of a good editor and spell-checker...
            >
            > > ...there hav not been
            > > significant changes for the average user in ten years (it still tpyes a
            > > letter for you and helps you balance your checkbook...
            >
            >
            > Have a nice day. It's 90 today in Canberra.
            >
            > Ken
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Paul DEVER
            Well, you gotta give those Philosophy majors something to talk about aside from....Uh, when you leave your house and go to work, how do you REALLY know that
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 13 11:22 PM
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              Well, you gotta give those Philosophy majors something to talk about aside
              from....Uh, when you leave your house and go to work, how do you REALLY know
              that your house is really there????


              ----Original Message Follows----
              From: "Kenneth E. Shockley" <shockley@...>
              Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
              To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [ujeni] Fw: Health, Humanitarianism and Trade
              Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 17:10:14 -0600 (CST)

              Well, I'd agree that there haven't been improvements that justify shelling
              out the cash for each new revisions, and there are som other serious
              problems. I certainly wouldn't want to vindicate large corporations, but
              Paul, you might recognize the value of a good editor and spell-checker...

              > ...there hav not been
              > significant changes for the average user in ten years (it still tpyes a
              > letter for you and helps you balance your checkbook...


              Have a nice day. It's 90 today in Canberra.

              Ken


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