And even the New York Times admitted it. I came across this in researching
the recent allegations that the Clinton Foundation used an Indian drug
manufacturer that is prohibited from selling drugs in the US due to its
known horrific lack of quality. This was from 2007:
Clinton Foundation Announces a Bargain* on Generic AIDS Drugs
By CELIA W. DUGGER <http://www.nytimes.com/by/celia-w-dugger>MAY 9, 2007
Former President Bill Clinton announced yesterday that his foundation had
negotiated deep price reductions for generic versions of costly,
drugs needed when the original medicines fail, as well as for less toxic,
easier-to-use first-line medicines combined in a pill that can be taken
once a day.
Standing next to Thailand
health minister, Mr. Clinton also forcefully endorsed recent decisions by
Thailand and Brazil
to break patents held by American pharmaceutical companies that are
charging prices Mr. Clinton described as exorbitant, but that drug company
officials said were reasonable.
“No company will live or die because of high price premiums for AIDS drugs
in middle-income countries, but patients may,” he said.
The new prices would halve the cost of the drugs for better-off developing
countries in Latin America and Asia and cut prices by 25 percent in poor
countries, which were already paying lower prices, the foundation said. The
second-line medicines will be bought with more than $100 million raised by
a group of countries led by France. The improved first-line therapies will
largely be financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria and other donors.
Second-line drugs have typically cost about 10 times as much as first-line
therapies. Costs have ballooned in Brazil and Thailand, which began
programs to provide universal access to AIDS treatment years before African
countries did, as patients have developed resistance to generic first-line
treatments and have moved to brand-name second-line drugs.
The Clinton Foundation’s willingness to buy the generic drugs from the
Indian manufacturers Cipla and Matrix will give developing countries
leverage in bargaining with American companies for lower prices on branded
antiretroviral drugs and may embolden some to follow Brazil and Thailand in
overriding patents, AIDS activists said.
But developing countries still have reason to worry about retaliation from
drug companies and trade sanctions by the United States. This year, Abbott
Laboratories, based in Illinois, withdrew new drugs, including those for
high blood pressure
and AIDS, that it had planned to introduce in Thailand until the override
on Abbott’s patent on the second-line drug, Kaletra.
United States trade officials last week put Thailand on a watch list for
countries inadequately safeguarding the intellectual property rights of
American companies, noting the overriding of drug patents.
Tido von Shoen-Angerer, who leads the campaign by Doctors Without Borders
for access to medicines, said he was unsure whether the recent developments
would encourage developing countries to exercise their rights under
international trade rules more freely to make or import generic drugs.
“There’s a strong chilling effect from the U.S. action,” he said.
Drug company officials yesterday strongly defended their policies of
charging better-off developing countries more for AIDS drugs than they did
for poor countries, as well as the role of patents, which give inventor
companies a monopoly on the sale of a drug, in stimulating the development
of new drugs.
Jennifer Smoter, a spokeswoman for Abbott, said patents were needed “to
ensure innovation in the future” but declined to respond to Mr. Clinton’s
comment that “Abbott has been almost alone in its hard-line position here
over what I consider to be a life and death matter.”
Abbott had been charging $2,200 annually per patient for Kaletra in
middle-income developing countries, which include India, China, Brazil and
Ukraine. Last month, it dropped the price to $1,000. The foundation’s new
price for the generic is $695.
Jeffrey L. Sturchio, a vice president at Merck
in New Jersey, says his company strives to balance providing the broadest
possible access to AIDS drugs while maintaining financial incentives to
attract companies to conduct research and development on new drugs.
Brazil and Thailand have overridden Merck’s patent on the AIDS drug
efavirenz, an ingredient of the new, improved first-line AIDS therapies.
Merck had been charging Brazil $577 annually per patient, a price it agreed
to drop to $400 a year after Brazil said it was considering overriding the
patent. The Clinton Foundation’s new price for the generic drug is $164.
*Bill Clinton, a former president of the United States and then husband of
a US Senator from NY, encouraged two foreign governments to break patents
held by two US companies - because he decided their prices were too high.
To hell with the precedent set, right?
If elected, Hillary wouldn't wait until she's out of office to be doing
this shit. It's "America last" with these two. :(
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