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films & discussion about AIDS/Health: political/economical implications

  • What are the priorities in caring for people?
  • Is it their health?
  • How do Pharmaceuticals work?
  • What can we do for health in general and AIDS in particular?

WHEN: tues 5th nov 7pm

WHERE: The Basement, under Single Step

come with questions and ideas and spread the word.....

to discuss

"Consider the case of highly expensive AIDS drugs. The knowledge and technology required to manufacture these medicines at low cost is already widely available. But the capacity to do so is limited by patent-protection regimes established on a global scale by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the TRIPS agreement (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) of the WTO. It’s against international law to save poor people’s lives with rich people’s science. Nonetheless, the combined efforts of AIDS activists, NGOs, health ministries in the underdeveloped countries, and risk-taking manufacturers such as Cipla in India, led to the deliberate transgression of the patent regimes (in 2001, Cipla could offer its tri-therapy generics to Medecins sans Frontieres for a cost of $340 a year per patient, compared to $10,400 for the high end of the trademarked medicines [4]). The result of this activism was the WTO’s historic Doha Declaration, which granted exceptions to the TRIPS provisions on patent law in the case of « national emergencies,« specifically including epidemics of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. [5] Yet the intent of the declaration is now being blocked, by collusion between the transnational drug industry and the current US administration. [6] Intellectual property laws make it difficult to realize the promise of free information exchange." (by Brian Holmes)