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Pharmaceutical Companies' Profit Protection Hurts Global AIDS Fight

In her latest piece on the New York Times’ “Opinionator” blog, author and journalist Tina Rosenberg argues that the terms of Gilead’s recent agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool is “confirmation of a dangerous new trend: middle-income countries as a target market for drug makers.” “The new strategy is to treat people in Egypt, Paraguay, Turkmenistan or China – middle-income countries, all – as if they or their governments could pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year each for AIDS drugs. This low-volume high-profit strategy might make business sense. But in terms of the war against AIDS, it means surrender,” she writes.

Rosenberg argues that “another assault on middle-income countries’ ability to buy drugs comes in the form of trade deals.” In a bid to access foreign markets, trade ministers “are often quite content to trade away health considerations,” she writes (7/26).

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