Bravo Senator Schumer!
First published at culturekitchen
Ownership of patents and any kind of intellectual property ought not favor private ownership to the detriment and harm of the common good. This is an excellent example of when patents ought to be revoked:
US senator demands Roche give up rights to key flu drug to boost supply - Forbes.com | US senator demands Roche give up rights to key flu drug to boost supply (10.17.2005, 02:45 PM)
WASHINGTON (AFX) - Citing a global need to prepare against the threat of an avian flu pandemic, a senior US politician has demanded that Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche Holding AG give up its rights over the leading anti-flu drug Tamiflu.
Senator Charles Schumer said that other drug producers should be allowed to make identical drugs to ensure an adequate supply in case of a widespread outbreak of the deadly avian flu.
'The problem is not the expense of the drug but rather the shortage of supply, which would immediately be rectified if other companies were able to produce it,' Schumer said in a statement.
Schumer said Roche should be compensated fairly for giving up its rights over the drug.
'I deeply respect the investment Roche has made in order to bring Tamiflu to market, but am confident that there is a way to both serve the public need and ensure that your company receives compensation,' he said in a letter to the company.
A strain of avian influenza known as H5N1 has killed more than 60 people in Southeast Asia since 2003. The virus has been detected in poultry in Romania and Turkey in recent weeks and is suspected to have surfaced in Croatia.
I can understand the appeasement in stressing that Roche would be asked to release the 'secret recipe' but not necessarily the pricing. It is enough of a systemic jolt to demand a revocation of their patent. Price fixing though is probably the #1 reason countries in Africa have been in battle with pharmaceuticals over the provision of AIDS treatments. The fact of the matter is that if you cannot buy the drug in the first place, you are as good as dead.
What was it Chris Rock said? Pharmaceuticals are like any drug dealer? They make their money on the comback? Yeah ... something like that. And then some.