[Ip-health] As the Global Fund and TAC are threatned with collapse, why are you attacking the Medicines Patent Pool?

George Carter fiar at verizon.net
Thu Nov 24 05:01:12 PST 2011

On Nov 24, 2011, at 2:23 AM, Mark Harrington wrote:

> As the Global Fund and TAC are threatned with collapse, why are you
> attacking the Medicines Patent Pool?

Mark--I think that is an excellent question. Of course, the Medicines Patent Pool issue is something developing over time whereas this news re the Global Fund and TAC is rather sudden, so it is somewhat of a straw man. I do not have the slightest doubt that Gregg, the people on this list and you all are as horrified and astonished by this failure on the part of the donor nations at the cusp of revolutionizing HIV care planet-wide as I am--and heading from the "plateau" of 2.7 MILLION new infections a year toward the direction of zero.

I do not pretend to understand the details of the deficiencies in the MPP agreement with Gilead that Gregg so eloquently and passionately decried (what's wrong with a good rant sometimes??) But the larger issue that the MPP has tried to address--the simple, uncomplicated fact of the price of drugs--remains a serious problem, especially for second line drugs...even drugs like emtricitabine, which has slipped under the radar too often as they major BS vomited up by Gilead. Why the hell should that drug cost so much an tenofovir so little? Greed. Period.  (Wherefore delinking is such a fine idea at first blush.) Where in the formularies for Africa and Asia and Central/South America is darunavir, raltegravir, T20 (injections notwithstanding), let along TB drugs?

Drug costs remain high, other services, like paying nurses, outreach workers, are forfeit. Health budgets distort to feed the pharmaceutical monsters and people failing on first line face little or no recourse. The MPP is a noble effort to be reasonable in the face of the vicious and malicious indifference to reason, humility or decency, usurped by the machinations, backstabbing and bloated compensation of pharmaceutical company executives. The folks on our side of the MPP effort have some seriously nasty, adept and talented people on the other side who will drown people in the legal traps and outs that will permit them to continue to make a killing and pull us into the maze of their tactics and strategies.

Worse, they seem to outright own the office of the US Trade Representative, with vicious nonsense of data exclusivity and other sleazy assaults on access. 

This is what Occupy movements are about. We cannot permit the high-powered lawyers and shills for major industries to continually feel they have the right to kill people by writing the laws to suit their profit motives. The banksters got bailed out, and we got screwed. 

That applies every bit as much to the MPP's desperate and important efforts as it does the failure of donor countries to cough up a couple of billion dollars for millions of lives while they press absurd and doomed-to-fail austerity measures.

The for-profit, capitalist model has failed in many respects. Worse, when it involves issues of health and life-or-death, they are happy to let, what, ten million currently clinically eligible men, women and children die while they wrangle over how they can screw more money out of people? Driving nations like South Africa to give up on the use of generics? 

This is what I still call a global form of Economic Genocide.

So what to do? It's not like the money isn't there. There is plenty to cover these needs and more. The banksters have stolen billions. The failed American wars against Afghanistan, Iraq and the "drug" war steal billions routinely. The "austerity" programs will fail Europe and America--and Africa. Even $10 billion just from the US to stem the tide of HIV, to bring new infections down, to save lives, is chump change and the moral high ground. But if Obama thumbs his nose at GFATM, there may be other resources to consider.

Perhaps China would be willing to help--they clearly have a large economic footprint in Africa (where the American and European footprints there are filled with blood).

Just some thoughts to consider.
George M. Carter

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