US barred from thailand drug reprisal

By fnord · May 6, 2007 · ·
  1. fnord

    The United States is prohibited from retaliatory action over Thailand's decision to ignore patents on some expensive American-made drugs, a senior Commerce Ministry official said yesterday.

    World Trade Organisation rules protect Thailand from US trade action over the move, the official said.

    The government invoked compulsory licensing on some expensive HIV/Aids and heart-disease drugs using WTO rules, the source explained.

    The official, who asked not to be named, said the government could lodge a WTO complaint if it determined the US had downgraded Thailand's intellectual-property-rights rating over the drug issue.

    Thailand is now on the US priority watch list, a level lower than in previous years, meaning Thailand will be closely monitored for intellectual-property-rights violations.

    The downgrade comes with associated cuts in tariff privileges on exports awarded under the Generalised System of Preferences.

    Many believe the downgrade was a response to the compulsory licensing.

    The source said the government had followed WTO rules and the US was forbidden to take tit-for-tat action.

    aww dosent it make you feel sad for the big pharm companies?
    good for thialand!why does the us care about this?MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY,our government is run by the componys that are loosing money on this and thats the ONLY reason they care.

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  1. Shiacmkmleer
    Yes Fnord it actually does. I do feel sad for them. More over I feel sad for us. You know what big pharm companies spend most of the money they make on? More research. You think that guy in Thailand manufacturing the drugs out of a local warehouse is researching the cure for cancer? So now the money that would go toward research is letting some scum in Thailand buy extra hookers. Also note that big pharm companies give A LOT of free medicine to the third world (another place pharm companies profits go).
  2. Nagognog2
    Geez...what a broad-minded vision. Some scum buying hookers...not making drugs affordable for the good of one's nation and people? But scum and hookers...

    I can imagine the outcry if the situation were reversed and Thailland had a drug that cured old-age - and wouldn't let the Americans have it: "Bomb them dirty slopes! Nuke 'em! Nuke 'em!"
  3. fnord
    more research = more products
    more products to sell = more money

    plain and simple pharm. corparations arnt out there (just)for the well being of humans,if so they wouldent be putting pills on the market that they KNOW cause problems in the pataints that take them,then try and cover up/falsify records saying that they knew that drug-x caused problems in their clinical trials.
  4. enquirewithin
    I feel sad for people dying because they can't afford to buy over-priced drugs from US companies. The new military government in Thailand is nothing wonderful but they are right about this issue and deserve nothing but praise for standing up to the US. They also know the amount of damage that US financial policies have done to their economy in the past. I feel sad that some Americans think that all foreigners are 'scum' who spend money on 'extra hookers.' What about the US government?
  5. Shiacmkmleer
    :sigh: Negative Rep for trying to explain how the system works... The thing is the people making these drugs in Thailand aren't selling them to Thailand's poor (although that is the Thai government's intent). They aren't trying to help the poor and downtrodden; the disadvantaged of the world. It's not that we refuse to sell these drugs Thailand it's that the rich people in Thailand and other surrounding nations want to pay less for these drugs. If a Thai company produced a drug that cured old age people in the USA would buy it from the drug companies. Actually they wouldn't because the patent laws in Thailand allow the government to seize patents. Ever wonder why despite the cheap labor pharm companies don't set up research station in nations like Thailand and Brazil?

  6. fnord
    and do you have sources for this statement that Thailand is selling them to other country's?preferably not sources form a pharm company or the bush admin?
  7. Nagognog2
    Sure. And when Thailand's government stopped open advertisement by American tobacco corporations a few years ago - the US government responded by threatening to launch an economic boycott against Thailand. Effectively crippling that nation. The Thais had no option other than to have Max Camel and the Marlboro Man smiling down on the streets and schools again.

    Good for the Thai Military. More power to them. And fuck American pharmaceutical corporations. Nationalize the bloody lot of 'em.
  8. enquirewithin
    Good for the miltary junta-- this time anyway! Anyone who thinks that Big Pharma cares about anything but profits is very naive. The WTO should help poor countries but it does not. It protects the interests of developed countries.
  9. Shiacmkmleer
    Since this law just came into effect I can't find any source of it going on in Thialand however when India allowed its companies to violate Patent laws they started to export it. There a lot of article on it this is the first one I could find'Indian+patent+for+AIDS+drugs+would+harm+millions'
    Note India may think about enforcing internation patent laws as noted in this artcle which could get interesting.
  10. enquirewithin
    Brazil to break Aids drug patents

    Brazil to break Aids drug patents

    Brazil says it intends to break patents on commercial anti-Aids drugs as part of its battle against the disease.
    The head of Brazil's Aids programme, Pedro Chequer, told the BBC it was the only way it could afford to keep up its anti-Aids strategy. Mr Chequer said Brazil would make copies of up to five drugs next year. Correspondents say Brazil has often threatened to produce drugs without the permission of the company holding the patent, but now looks set to do so. Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, a nation can break drug patents if there is a national emergency. Brazil currently makes eight of the 15 drugs it offers in its anti-Aids cocktail, which is free to those with the disease.
    It's all a big agreement to keep developing nations hostage to the multinational industry-- Pedro Chequer. Head of Brazil's Aids programme

    Mr Chequer said that next year, the country hoped to be producing 12 or 13 of the drugs. He did not say which patents would be broken. "At the moment it is not easy because we are spending lots of money on acquiring drugs from multinationals. That kind of situation is unsustainable," he told the BBC's Brazilian service. "Brazil's programme will not be sustainable as long as we don't have self-sufficiency in the provision of drugs."

    Costs soared

    In a separate interview on Tuesday, he accused major drug companies of collaborating to "keep developing nations hostage to the multinational industry". Brazil began free drug provision in 1997 in an attempt to prevent the spread and impact of the disease among its young and sexually active population. About 150,000 Brazilians receive free treatment - out of only 350,000 throughout the developing world. The number of Brazilians living with HIV has remained at about 600,000 for several years. But the cost of foreign imported drugs has soared, from about 50% to 85% of the Aids programme's cost.
  11. fnord
    i hope other developing country's take India example of this and start up simmiler programs in their own country's like Swaziland which has over 33.4% of its population infected.
  12. Triple7
    I am sure that corporates in USA break a lot of patents. USA is the one doing wide industrial spying on other nations. Does USA give patents as easily to foreigners than to their own people? What country has the strangest patent laws? Isn't that some kind of protectionism?

    Hookers are also humen. Thais and Brazilians are humen. What if I said, that Thais and Brazilians break the patent laws, so that Americans won't afford to travel as much and then buy sex? Wouldn't that be narrow minded?

    There are theories (which I believe in) that aids originated from USA. It's the americans that gave aids to the world, americans gave aids to the thais and to the brazilians. First nation to have HIV bloom was USA, not the nations in Africa. If you can find statistics, see for yourself.

    Besides, if USA really wanted to stop the spread, then they would also invest into the outside world, since helping the outside world is as well helping USA itself combating HIV. What I see here, is pure imperialism.

    USA = United States of Aids.
  13. fnord
    why help the rest of the world when destroying it is so much more profitable?
  14. Bajeda
    More like creating alot of patents on stuff that already exists in nature or otherwise. Ever hear of the Neem tree or the Enola bean?
  15. fnord
    wondering if i can patent gravity or the wheel,then sue people for useing them,hey its america right?
  16. Triple7
    Sorry to let you down. They guys and actors who made StarTrek would sue you... they already got patents in their films. Don't even mention the G and W word combined, sine maybe someone then has to drive another way to the dry-cleaner and you must pay +100k$.
  17. enquirewithin
    Clinton challenges US control over Aids drug patents

    Clinton challenges US control over Aids drug patents

    By David Usborne in New York
    Published: 10 May 2007

    The former US president Bill Clinton has unveiled an ambitious programme to provide generic versions of Aids drugs for patients in developing countries at greatly reduced prices.
    The initiative is a challenge to many US-based manufacturers who have balked at relaxing patent protections and cutting prices for poorer countries.
    Mr Clinton has also endorsed decisions by Brazil and Thailand to override patents on the drugs and to pursue the manufacture of generic versions after negotiations with the manufacturers failed. "I strongly support the position of the governments of Thailand and Brazil and their decision after futile negotiations to break these patents," he said.
    In a direct attack on American drugs companies, he said: "No company will live or die because of high price premiums for Aids drugs in middle-income countries, but patients may."
    Mr Clinton's foundation has been working since 2002 to broker deals to increase the availability of Aids medicines. Approximately 750,000 people are believed to have had access to them for the first time through his work. Aids/HIV affects some 39 million people, and almost 95 per cent are in developing countries.
    This time, his foundation has negotiated with two manufacturers in India - Cipla and Matrix Laboratories - to produce generic versions of second-line medicines for when patients develop resistance to the treatment they are originally prescribed, as well as one-tablet-a-day first-line drugs that are less toxic.
    Paying for second-line drugs is threatening to overwhelm the healthcare budgets of many governments as more long-term patients begin to develop resistance. They are generally 10-times more expensive. "That's a very great strain on countries' healthcare budgets," Mr Clinton said.
    Helping to buy the second-line drugs from the companies will be a group of countries that have together raised $100m (£50m), led by France. The French ambassador to the US joined Mr Clinton for the announcement.
    Under the programme, the once-daily first-line pills will become available for about $1 a day. They will combine the drugs Tenofovir, Lamivudine and Efavirenz. "This drug represents the best chance that science has to offer," Mr Clinton said. Money for the drugs will come largely from donor groups including the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
    The initiative means that the second-line drugs will be made available with average savings over current prices of about 25 per cent for low-income countries and 50 per cent in middle-income countries.
    That Mr Clinton is willing to take the side of foreign governments against US companies is troubling news for the big American manufacturers. He said that the US manufacturer Abbott had "been almost alone in its hardline position here over what I consider to be a life and death matter".
    The life-saving effect of antiretrovirals
    * Drugs have transformed Aids from a killer disease to a chronic condition that people can live with
    * Those lucky enough to have access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can look forward to a near normal lifespan. But that takes careful monitoring and a healthy lifestyle to boost the immune system and ward off infection
    * In developing countries, new and better drugs in simpler combinations have brought new hope. Combined with quicker, simpler diagnostic tests they are bringing treatment to more people and improving compliance, which is crucial to preventing drug resistance
    * Increasing access to treatment is the key to successful prevention. Once drugs are available, people have a reason to go and get tested and can then be counselled to avoid further spread.
  18. Each Hit
    if we judge an entire nation by its most despicable citizens, then i'm sure the united states is among the worst. but consider that a lot of us are people who work our way up to try and help make the world better. it was the efforts of determined individuals that yielded these drugs. they have likely invested at least a decade, probably much more, of their lives toward one field of study (and post-graduate schooling is NOT cheap here) to try and make a difference. unfortunately, their impact is negated by the actions of their superiors.

    the problem is that our world is gradually being controlled by fewer and fewer people, leaving many behind in the process. this is not a new concept. in an ecosystem with limited resources, there will be a fight to survive. there will be haves and have-nots.

    it's a cruel vision, i know, but it is the simplest and most efficient model. the simple evolutionary act of self-preservation has become something far more sinister... self-elevation; a lust for power. once our species tasted power, it never looked back. the thirst for power has become almost evolutionary. those with more power have kids who inherit that power, who in turn have kids who will inherit their power, ad infinitum. of course, some will squander their power while others born at the bottom may elevate themselves. still, we are seeing something akin to natural selection among our own species.

    the only question is whether we really are slaves to nature. can a collective human effort create a social balance that has never existed in all of history?? if there is to be justice in the world, we will have to.
  19. lulz
    Aside from the blatant racism in your statement, there is so much wrong with what you said I barely know where to begin.

    First of all, pharmaceutical sales in the US and Europe account for 70% of global sales. Thailand isn't even ignoring all drug patents, they are only ignoring the patents on a small fraction of products.

    Second of all, the pharmaceutical industry is profitable beyond the most obscene dreams of avarice. Here are some figures:

    So not only are we talking about a tiny amount of lost revenues, but they will be lost revenues from some of the wealthiest companies on the planet.

    Thirdly, it's completely untrue to claim that those lost revenues will translate into less money spent on research.

    The pharmaceutical companies only spend about 15% of their revenues on R&D:

    In fact as a percentage of revenue, the profit margin of the top ten American pharmaceutical companies is consistently higher than the amount they spend on R&D. By comparison, they spend at least twice as much on "marketing and administration".

    The claim that lost revenues from patent violation will lead to less funding for R&D is a bald faced lie. The only reason they made such a big deal about this is probably because under copyright law, you have to agressively protect your intellectual property to have a valid claim on it's patent.
  20. Shiacmkmleer
    Well I was going to try and stay out this because lord knows political discussions never go anywhere positive. But accusations of racism have brought me to post in this thread again.

    First of all you source a book review. It in turn sources other places but its source is subpar. But let us assume what it says is true. A drug companies spend more on research than they earn in profits (you said 15% spent on R&D vs the article says 14% profits.)

    Second of all the second source you site also says this “Pharmaceutical companies often offer much needed medication at no or reduced cost to the developing countries “ (not to say it didn't say a lot that was negative toward drug companies)

    Third of all how if someone comes up with a medication why aren't they allowed to make as much profit as they can off it?
    Moving to Each hit's post Frankly you are wrong
    England used to be controlled by a king and a small group of noble men while everyone else lived in poverty. Egypt used to be ruled by a king who claimed he was god. The pie is A becoming bigger and B being shared by more people [yes the rich who have most of the pie try to stop other people from getting a piece but time and time again they have been unsuccessful]

    Lastly. The drug companies are out for one thing to make a profit. They are not a charity. They develop drugs only because it is profitable to do so. They invest money only because they want a profit. If you cut off their profits they will no longer develop drugs. And Nationalize them? What the hell when has the government ever done anything well in this nation?
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