Humanity vs Capitalism

On Friday, Brazil decided to bypass a pharmaceutical patent in order to get better AIDS treatment for its people. They were in negotiations with Merck, creator of the Efavirenz drug, but couldn’t reach an agreement on the price. Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (I call him Louie) made the decision to break the patent and put his citizens first, in accordance with WTO rules.

Merck is clearly pissed off, and I quote the article “calling the decision a misappropriation of intellectual property that would stifle research”. Oh please! I know drug research is expensive if we want to talk in business terms, they “lost a sale” because they were too greedy. We’re not talking about cars and TVs here, they’re putting a price on life itself.

I still think health care should not be done for profit, but I live in a partially socialist nation and I quite like it that way. I’d rather see some of my tax money go toward drug research that benefits everyone. I don’t have AIDS, but I’m still affected by its damage to society. What Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and all the other pharmaceutical megacorporations do is dangerously close to terrorist acts. And who’s to say they won’t cross that line if and when their profits are in jeopardy ? How hard can it be to design a supervirus and its expensive antidote ?

“We have the cure. Now give us all your money or you die!”

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