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AFRO-NETS> Bush: $10 billion for pharmaceutical companies' monopoly

  • From: Beverley Snell <bev@burnet.edu.au>
  • Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2003 05:07:21 -0500 (EST)

Bush: $10 billion for pharmaceutical companies' monopoly
Forwarded from E-Drug <e-drug@usa.healthnet.org>

Act Up-Paris
Press statement - 30 January 2003

Bush announces 10 billion dollars to maintain the multi-national
pharmaceutical companies' monopoly

Let us not be mistaken that the resounding announcement by G.W. Bush,
of a 10 billion dollars commitment to the fight against AIDS, serves
essentially one objective: to renege on commitments made in November
2001, at the WTO conference in Doha, to allow access to generic

The financial contribution which G.W.Bush paints in glowing colors,
amounts to 10 billion dollars over 5 years, of which 9 billion will
be granted under bilateral negotiations to a limited number of coun-

After the United States blocked WTO negotiations over access to ge-
neric drugs last December, and a few days before negotiations resume
discussions, this announcement is a clear attempt to put pressure on
developing countries which do not have the capacity to produce drugs,
in order to force them to purchase high-priced brand-name products
and limit the production and distribution of generic products at all

The recent announcements by multinational pharmaceutical companies
during the Davos summit are part of the same strategy. Far from sup-
porting a global response to the AIDS epidemic, these companies'
goals are to divert attention and to sweep the need for access to ge-
neric drugs under the rug. This is how one must read Pharmacia's
"philanthropic" offer to grant a non-exclusive license for de-
lavirdine to several "worthy" countries. Pharmacia, on the verge of
merging with the American giant Pfizer, is organizing a great adver-
tising campaign for a product that it has never successfully marketed
in Northern markets, while ignoring the question of generic drugs.

Simultaneously, pharmaceutical companies continue to frantically
lobby governments and international institutions to block access to
generic drugs.

Attempts by G.W. Bush and multinational pharmaceutical companies to
manipulate public opinion, just a few days before WTO negotiations
resume, should not, however, obscure the real stakes at hand. By
2005, international regulations on intellectual property will be ap-
plied to all developing countries. This is why the WTO must put meas-
ures into place that allow access to generic drugs, as quickly as

Olivier Jablonski
North/South Commission
Act Up-Paris
BP 287
75525 Paris Cedex 11, France
Tel: +33-1-4929-4481
Fax: +33-1-4806-1674

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