[Ip-health] Wikileaks - US-Pharma Lovefest

George Carter fiar at verizon.net
Wed Jun 22 07:22:08 PDT 2011


http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/151370 

A clip from the relevant portion:
3. Pharmaceuticals + US diplomats = best friends forever. In October 2009, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa issued a decree to improve access to medicines and support public health programs through a protocol that would reduce drug costs. Cables from US embassy personnel in Ecuador to the U.S. Department of State show the United States, multinational pharmaceutical companies, and three ministers   within the government shared information and worked to undermine Ecuador's emerging policy.

In a cable dated October 13, 2009, before the decree was issued, the US ambassador was troubled by Correa's plans because it would prioritize local production and eliminate pharmaceutical patents. In other words, Ecuador was about to makes changes that would negatively impact the profits of US pharmaceutical companies.

Immediately following word of Correa's plans, the US embassy staff met with local representatives of US pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Scering-Plough, and Wyeth to share strategies that would prevent or limit Ecuador's licensing changes.

US concerns intensified as revealed by a cable written days later, which refers to meetings with "well-placed contacts" with "potentially sympathetic ministries." In what sounds like attempted blackmail, Minister of Health Caroline Chang -- one of the "well-placed contacts" described as an ally — assured multinational pharmaceuticals that she was looking into financial irregularities and business dealings of some of the local producers with the intent of gaining some leverage.

Despite efforts to undermine Ecuador’s access protocol, Ecuador issued its first compulsory license in April 2010, enabling generic imports of the HIV/AIDS drug ritonavir.


***
(Bravo Ecuador! No more of this form of economic genocide that posits the intentional and lethal equation IP "rights" + profit > human life and health. They KNOW jacking up the prices causes literally millions of men, women and children to suffer needlessly and die. This is economic genocide.)




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