“Laws that deny or delay access to life-saving and emergency drugs should be urgently addressed on the humanitarian principle of lives above profits, but without hurting the businesses. Innovation in the crucial area of human survival should not be entirely dependent on money-making and big business, but should primarily aim at the alleviation of all human suffering and saving lives as a basic minimum.
This does not contradict fair trade. Business success and humanism are not incompatible It is just a big lie to suggest that humanity is too dim to find ways of rewarding innovation and discovery other than by holding the very weakest of our society at ransom. It is also untrue that the only way businesses can thrive is by cutthroat pursuit of profits under powerful and insensitive protective laws, irrespective of the misery caused and the trail of blood in their wake. Lessons learns from the AIDS disaster should help the world find a way of incorporating justice and human rights in business. It is glaringly clear that the ills of the present system need to be fixed. “
The above is a quote from the book:
* Peter Mugyenyi. Genocide by Denial: How profiteering from HIV/AIDS killed millions. Fountain Publishers, 2009
The basic details of this important case study on how IP monopolies in healthcare costs many lives are here below, but for a full treatment, see the original article.
“Fountain Publishers in Uganda has launched as its first open access book a powerful and moving indictment of the price in human lives that the global innovation system has extracted in sub-saharan Africa, written by the internationally respected AIDS specialist, Peter Mugyenyi. The book is Genocide by Denial: How profiteering from HIV/AIDS killed millions. This is the first demonstration project in the PALM Africa initiative and the response to the open acess book as well as its impact will be tracked and researched by the PALM team.
Mugyenyi writes with deep compassion and scathing anger of the price that has been paid as a result of patent-driven high prices for antiretrovirals; of the expedience and posturing that can accompany high-profile donations; and of the implicit racism and under-estimation of African medical skills that sometimes underlies global health policies and donor initiatives in Africa. He has an incisive intellect when it comes to debunking the double-speak that can underpin the rhetoric of the big pharma companies and he provides what was to me a startling insight into the realities of the investment as against profits of drugs like Nevirapine. Most of all through this is a moving account of the emotional price paid by doctors and families as they helplessly watch the suffering of unnecessary deaths. “It is painful to see a patient die due to lack of effective medicine or intervention.” he says, “simply because they are too poor to afford it”.”