Thursday, October 11, 2007

read it and find out

Cheap HIV drugs are more important than patents

"African countries should follow Thailand's lead in manufacturing their own affordable medication in the face of U.S. pressure."

It's terrible I know, what the Thais are doing. Without the enormous profits guaranteed by a government-enforced monopoly (patent), how will the future of innovation be financed? Well... Developing countries like Thailand, or least developed countries in Africa, represent a minuscule proportion of global profits for drug companies like Abbott. The tiny sums Abbott would otherwise gain from Thailand and Africa would be plowed largely into marketing - and not in poor countries, because AIDS drugs pretty much sell themselves there. No "Living is Good - Stay Alive with Kaletra" ad campaign needed. Anyway, these tiny profits would be plowed back largely into marketing and administration, expenses which dwarf research & development expenditures by a factor of 2.5, while Abbott waits for the next publicly-funded university to make a new drug discovery, which they can then buy and bring it through the FDA approval process.

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