ANNOUNCEMENT: This forum has been archived and its community moved to the Star Wars Gamer forum. mark read register faq members calendar

Thread: WTO Sets Deal for Africa to Get Cheap Drugs
Thread Tools Display Modes
Post a new thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Old 09-07-2003, 04:47 AM   #1
SkinWalker's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Give critical thought a chance
Posts: 2,709
LFN Staff Member 
WTO Sets Deal for Africa to Get Cheap Drugs

For those that are less willing to read the whole article, I highlighted the key points - Skin

Africa to receive cheaper Aids drugs
By Tim Butcher in Johannesburg
(Filed: 01/09/2003)

The World Trade Organisation broke eight months of bitter deadlock at the weekend when it agreed to let poorer nations import cheaper generic drugs to fight killer diseases such as Aids and malaria.

The agreement reached in Geneva on Saturday allows countries unable to produce their own medicines to import cheap generic drugs.

"This is a historic agreement for the WTO," said the organisation's director-general, Supachai Panitchpakdi.

Third World countries and many charities have been demanding that poorer states, particularly in Africa, be allowed access to cheaper drugs to stem the Aids crisis.

But pharmaceutical companies, backed mainly by the United States, have fought a rearguard battle to protect their patent rights on the drugs.

The WTO was partly shamed into taking the decision after an emotional submission by Moroccan delegates who said more than two million had died from Aids in the time the WTO had been horse-trading over the issue.

Experts say a year's course of anti-retroviral drugs to slow down the onset of Aids would normally cost about £1,000 if bought from Western companies. Identical versions imported from countries such as India and Brazil would be about one quarter of the price.
While some countries expressed delight at the decision, it has awkward consequences for South Africa, the country with the most HIV/Aids sufferers, where the president, Thabo Mbeki, has doggedly refused to authorise anti-retroviral drugs.

He is now expected to face renewed pressure to authorise their use in public hospitals.

Accused by health campaigners of dithering while tens of thousands of South Africans die, his government had always argued against the drugs, partly because they were so expensive for the strained national budget.

The WTO decision is expected to reduce the cost of anti-retrovirals dramatically, however, giving Mr Mbeki's critics ammunition to demand them in public hospitals.

But so eccentric is the South African leader's attitude to Aids - it led to questions about his sanity when he suggested the condition was a creation of the CIA to discredit black Africans - that it is possible he will delay the drugs further.

The WTO deal was announced in a declaration, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. This allows countries without a pharmaceutical industry to import cheaper generic drugs under certain strict criteria.

"It's good news for Africa, and especially good news for the people of Africa who so desperately need access to affordable medicine," Amina Chawahir Mohamed, the Kenyan ambassador in Geneva, said.

But Oxfam and Médecins Sans Frontières said in a joint statement that the deal was "flawed". It was "designed to offer comfort to the US and the Western pharmaceutical industry," the statement said.


Does this slap the owners of patents to the drugs in the face or does it begin something good in Africa? The AIDS/HIV crisis there is one of the single biggest threats of the continent.

Should the drug companies' intellectual property rights be upheld? Should they be suspended, even in limited capacity, for the greater good?

A Hot Cup of Joe - My Blog

Not finding an intellectual challenge in the Swamp? Try the Senate Chambers!

Evolution and How We Know It's Right - Post your thoughts!
Debate Strategies & Tactics - Polish your online debate skills and offer your own advice
SkinWalker is offline   you may:
Old 09-14-2003, 01:03 AM   #2
TiBo's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 174
This should not be all about the money, it should be about saving the lives. The drug companies that are argueing against it should take a visit to Africa and see how many people are dying because of their greed. This is disgusting.
TiBo is offline   you may:
Old 09-14-2003, 02:23 AM   #3
I'm a ghost
Kain's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 4,269
Current Game: Not so much.
Forum Veteran  10 year veteran! 
Of course its wrong for anyone to argue about helping a poor country. But peoples personal needs are all that they worry about. Does the owner of Aleeve give a damn if someone takes his drug but dosen't get better? Hell no, because he got paid anyways. So is he going to let some poor people get off with free drugs? Of course not! He wants that jacuzi and thats all that he worries about.
Kain is offline   you may:
Old 09-14-2003, 11:37 AM   #4
TiBo's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 174
That is what is so horrible about the North American culture.
TiBo is offline   you may:
Post a new thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Go Back   LucasForums > Network > LucasForums Archive > Star Wars: Jedi Knight series > Community > Senate Chambers > WTO Sets Deal for Africa to Get Cheap Drugs

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:29 AM.

LFNetwork, LLC ©2002-2015 - All rights reserved.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.