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Resource ID: #17616
Subject: Pharmaceuticals
Source: Wall Street Journal (New York)
Affiliation: 
Date: 2-Mar

Description

Wall Street Journals examines the controversies involved in the protection of the patents rights of American pharmaceutical companies abroad. The story details the legal battle of drug manufacturers against a South African law, under which the country "can import cheap, generic versions of patented medicines - including powerful new drugs for treating AIDS - without permission from the patent owner." The report describes the desire of drug companies "to be seen as helping fight the global AIDS crisis" vs. their two main fears - "if the South Africa law is allowed to stand, other countries will be emboldened to pursue similar legislation," and if "poor countries are allowed to buy low-priced drugs, American consumers will demand the same." It also reveals that the "U.S. government is no longer standing firmly behind" the drug companies, although the industry has spent about $ 80 million "to help elect president Bush and a Republican Congress."

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