[Ip-health] Blackmail -What is better: Silver gringos or the lives of thousands of people?

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Mon May 16 10:08:32 PDT 2016

This is how Google translates today's El Tiempo op-ed by Paola Ochoa


Paola Ochoa
Blackmail -What is better: Silver gringos or the lives of thousands of

 May 16, 2016

It is the universal rule of Uncle Sam: no free lunch. While Kerry met with
Santos in London to express their support for the peace process in the US
Congress blackmailing our country vulgar: o the price of the main drug
against cancer or 450 million dollars left still Colombia gringa helps run
the risk of evaporating.

A threat that came to light last Thursday, when 'The Huffington Post'
leaked an internal memo from the Colombian Foreign Ministry: "Given the
direct relationship between a significant group of congressmen with the
pharmaceutical industry in the US. UU., Glivec case is likely to escalate
to the point of creating a downside to the approval of the resources of the
new initiative called Peace Colombia ". (See memo).

It is not any bullshit. Glivec is the main drug to fight leukemia in
Colombia. The proposal by Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria, is to lower
its price in half. And the reason is elementary: the price is sky and
bleeding the national health system. But the multinational Novartis refuses
to lower the price of retrechera way and therefore went to make 'lobby' in
the gringo Congress historically given to the interests of the

How will the so huge power of this industry that the three candidates in
the run for the White House all agree on this issue. Hillary Clinton,
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have spoken in this campaign of brutality
and greed of the pharmaceutical industry and how it has taken over the US
Congress. That and the arms industry are the two great 'lobbyists' in

Illustration: Juan Felipe Sanmiguel.

Colombia already has personally suffered in the past. This happened in the
previous decade, when the US Congress approved the extension of tariff
preferences United States to Colombian products. Blackmail was igualito to
now: or we gave more gabelas pharmaceutical multinationals, or no more
ATPDEA for Colombia. The same happened with the FTA negotiations: o
endurecíamos rules on protection of drug patents -in detriment of generics
drugs or had not Free Trade Agreement. Nice kneepads that we have!

America has always made the same cuentico: that of intellectual property
and the alleged drug patent protection. But I wonder if there are more
important 450 million dollars Paz Colombia that the lives of thousands of
Colombians who die each year from leukemia inability to access the high
price of primary drug for such a tragedy.

There are painted the gringos. Always giving us silver on the one hand to
charge more by the other. So it has been with the disinterested 'help' Plan
Colombia: 10,000 million dollars we pay them with the purchase of tons of
weapons, hundreds of planes and helicopters to US companies. Not to mention
the dozens of telephone equipment and interceptions, millions of dollars in
herbicides for spraying blessed and a long list of advice and consultancy
with American cooperation agencies.

No free lunch, says Uncle Sam. But to me it seems absurd that in Colombia
we prefer to change a few dollars for the lives of millions of people. Life
is priceless.


James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love

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