Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thai Government Tells Big Drugs 'Bite Me.'

The Thai government has decided to break patent laws on heart and HIV meds for citizens getting health care on the state dime. Business Week reports that more than 700,000 people suffer from AIDS or Heart Disease in the impoverished nation and at the prices drug companies want, the state would be able to treat less than 10%.
I am glad that someone is standing up to these drug companies. Yes, I know it is incredibly expensive to manufacture these drugs. But it is also expensive to create cryptic commericals for drugs that help rich old white American men get erections. So, Big Drugs, I'm with Thailand- go to hell.
I do wonder what it will mean to these drug companies if they start loosing money on AIDS drugs. What with them already not giving a shit about the poor/black people.

1 comment:

PalinDrome said...

I am so conflicted on this topic. The reason that drugs cost large sums of money is not the manufacture cost but the research cost. I don't have any access to any facts to back this statement, but I seem to remember that only 1 out of 20 drugs actually make it to manufacture. So the cost of a drug is not just for the one that makes it but the ones that fail as well. So I can accept this.

The problem is that the drug manufactures are only allowed to hold the "secret" for a limited time. I seem to remember a figure of 5 years. After this time has passed they are required to provide lower cost generics. But to get around this they find a new use for the drug and restart the clock. This I do not accept.