Glaxosmithkline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Aids in Africa

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The UN predicted that in these 6 nations two ? thirds f all 15 – year Ellwood eventually die of AIDS and in those where 10 percent were infected, half of all 15 – year – Ellwood die of AIDS. For the entire sub -Sahara region, the average level Of infection among adults was 8. 8 percent boatswain’s population was infected, 34 percent of Zombie’s, 31 percent of Lesotho, and 33 percent of Swaziland. Family life had been destroyed by the deaths of hundreds of thousands of married couples,who left more than 11 million orphans to fend for themselves. Gangs and rebel armies forced thousands forehand to join them.

While crime and violence ere rising, agriculture was in decline as orphaned brainchildren tried desperately to remember had to manage on their own. Labor productivity had been cut baby percent in the hardest – hit nations, school and hospital systems were decimated, and entire neoclassicisms were on the verge of collapse. With its huge burden of AIDS illnesses, African nation desperately needed medicines, biotechnologist to treat the many opportunistic diseases that strike AIDS victims and HIVE antiterrorism Ithacan indefinitely prolong the lives of people with AIDS.

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Unfortunately, the people of sub – Sahara Africanized not afford the prices that the major pharmaceutical drug companies charged for their drugs. Thematic drug companies, for example, charged SSL 0,000 to $ 1 5,000 for a year’s supply the interrelationships marketed in the united States. Yet the average per -person annual income in sub – Sahara Africans $500. The AIDS crisis in sub – Sahara Africa posed a major moral problem for the drug companies of the developed world: How should they respond to the growing needs of this terribly destitute region of otherworld?

These problems were especially urgent for the companies that held tenants on several Disintegration’s, such as Silhouetting and Bristol- Myers Squibb. Silhouetting, a British pharmaceutical company founded in 1873, with 2003 revenues of $38. Billion and profits of $8 billion, held the patents to five antiterrorism it had created. Formed from attempter of three large drug companies (Gallo, Burroughs Welcome, and Smithies Became), it was one of the world ‘s largest and most profiTABLE companies.

Bristol – Myers Squibb, an American oversimplifications founded in 1858, was also the result of mergers (between Squibb and Bristol – Myers). It haddock profit of $$3. 1 billion on revenues of $20. Billion ad had created and now held the patents to demonstratively. Although AIDS was first noticed in the United State in 1981 when the CDC noted an Lawrenceville of a rare cancer among gay man, it is now known to have afflicted a Bantu male in 1 959, indivisibly jumped from monkeys to humans centuries earlier.

In 1 982, with 1 ,614 diagnosed cases in thinned State, the disease was termed AIDS (for “acquired immune deficiency syndrome’), and defoliating year French scientists identified HIVE (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) as its cause. 8. HIVE is a virus that destroys the immune system that the body uses to eight off infections indicates. If the immune system breaks down, the body is unTABLE to fight off illnesses and affectionately with various “opportunistic diseases infections and cancers.

The virus, which can tack up to arrear to break down a person’s immune system, is transmitted through the exchange of body faultfinding’s blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The main modes of infection are through unprotected sex, intravenous drug use, and child birth. Nil 987, Burroughs Welcome (now part of Silhouetting) developed ACT, the first FDA-oversimplifications, that is, a drug that attacks the HIVE virus itself. When welcome priced ACT at $10,000 for areas supply, it was accused of price gouging, forcing a price reducing of 20 percent the following year.

Nil 991, Bristol- Myers Squibb developed adenosine, a new class of intervocalic drug called unselfconsciousness transcripts inhibitors. In 1 995, Ruche developed Aquinas, a third new class of interrogatively called a protease inhibitor, and the following year Roseanne Laboratories announced inoperative,another new class of antiterrorism called mononucleosis reverse transcripts inhibitors . By the middle 9905, drug companies had developed four distinct classes of interpretations, as several drugs thickheaded the opportunistic diseases that afflict AIDS patients.

In 1996, Dry. David Ho was honored for his discovery that by taking a combination- a “cocktail”- oftener of than four classes Of intervocalic drags, it is possible to kill off virtually all of than HIVE virus in patient’s body, allowing the immune system to recover, and thereby effectively bringing the disease intermission. Costing upwards of $20,000 a year (the medicines had to be taken for the rest of the potentialities), the new drug treatment enTABLEd AIDS patients to once again live normal, healthy lives.

By 1998, tutelage drug companies would have developed 12 different intervocalic drugs that could be used in procrastination to from the “cocktails” that could bring the disease into remission. The combination druggies, however, were complicated and had to be exactly adhered to. Several dozen pills had to be taken various specific times during the day and night, every day, or the treatment would fail to work and outpatient’s HIVE virus could be come resistant to the drugs. If the patient then spread the disease to others,it would give rise to drug – resistant version Of the disease.

To ensure patients were carefully following threesomes, doctors or nurses carefully monitored their patients and made sure patients took the drugs unscheduled. In 1 998, as more U. S AIDS patients began the new combination drug treatment, the number biannual AIDS deaths dropped for the fist time in the United states. Globally, however, the situation was not improving. By 2000, according to the United Nations,there were approximately 5 million people who were being newly infected with AIDS each year, brightening worldwide total to about more than the entire population of Australia. Adults and children died of AIDS each year. The price of the new combination intervocalic treatment limited the use of these drugs to delighted States and other wealthy nation. Personal incomes in sub – Sahara Africa were too low to formatted the combination treatments cost at the point. Yet the countries of sub – Sahara Africa warmongering as the ones most desperately in need of the new treatment. Of the 5 million annual new cafes ADDIS, 4 million -70 percent – were located in sub- Sahara countries.

Numerous global health and human rights groups ? such as Sofas – urged the large tragicomedies to lower the prices of their rugs to levels that patients in poor developing nations could afford. By 2001, a combination regime of three intervocalic AIDS drugs still cost about $10,000 a year Although the formulas for making the intervocalic drugs were often easy to obtain, few poor countries the ability to manufacture the drugs, and in most nations that had the capacity to manufacture drugs 9. He large drug companies of the developed world had obtained “patents” that gave them the exclusivity to manufacture those drugs in effect making the drug formulas the private property of the large tragicomedies. Silhouetting, Bristol – Myers Squibb, and the other big drug companies did not at this timeworn to lower their prices. First, they argued that it was better for poor countries to spend their limited resources on educational programs that might prevent new cases of AIDS than on expensive drugs adulthood merely extend life for the small number Of patients that might receive the drugs.

Second, dehydrated that the combination drug “cocktails” had to be administered by hospitals, clinics, doctors, orneriness who could monitor patients to make sure they were taking the drugs according to the restricted regimes and to ensure that drug- resistant versions of the virus did not develop. But most AIDS patients developing nations such as those in sub-Sahara Africa, the big drug companies argued, had limitedness to medical personnel.

Third, they argued, the development of new drugs was extremely expensive. The cost of the research, development, and testing required to bring a new drug to market, they claimed,was between $100 million. Besides the research involved, new drugs had to be tested in three phases:Phase trials to test for initial safety: Phase II trials to test to make ere the drugs work: and Phase Littorals that were wide-scale tests on hundreds Of people to determine safety, efficacy, and dosage.

If Thebes drug companies were to recover what they had invested in developing the drugs they marketed, Andrew to retain the capacity to fund new drug development in the future, they argued, they had to entertainment high prices. If they started giving away their drugs, they would stop making new drugs. Finally, tethered companies of the developed nations feared that any drugs they discounted or gave away in developing world would be smuggled back and sold in the United States and other developed nations.

Critics of the drug companies were not convinced by these arguments. Doctors Without Borders-a group of thousands of doctors who contributed their services to poor patients in developing annunciations the world- said that although prevention programs were important, never- the less hundreds fatherlands of lives-even millions-could be saved if drug companies lowered their intervocalic antiabortionists disease drug prices to levels poor nations could afford.

Moreover, a September 2003 reporter the International AIDS Society stated that studies in Brazil, Haiti, Thailand, and South Africa woodchat patients in remote rural areas adhered exactly to their drug regimes with the help of low-kaleidoscope’s and that the development of resistance was not a major problem. In fact, in the United Statutes percent of AIDS patients had developed drug resistance but only 6. 6 percent of AIDS patients studied developing nations had developed resistance. By now, some of the intervocalic contemporaneousness were being combined into blister packs that were easier to administer and monitor.

Other critics challenged the financial arguments of the drug companies. The cost estimates offend drug development used by the drug companies, they claimed, were inflated. For example, the figures $500 million that drug companies often cited as the cost of developing a new drug was based on study that inflated its cost estimates by doubling the actual out-of-pocket costs companies invested in drug to account for so-called “opportunity” costs (what the money would have earned if it had eventides in some other way).

Moreover, these cost estimates assumed that the drug was being developers scratch, when in fact most of the new drugs marketed by companies were based on research brother drugs already on the market or n research conducted by universities, government, and therapeutically funded laboratories. Critics also questioned whether companies would be driven to stop investing new drugs if they lowered the pries of their AIDS drugs. Since 1988 the average return on equity fodder companies averaged an unusually high 30 percent a year.

Public Citizen, in a report entitled “druggy Industry Profits,” noted that the ten biggest drug companies had total profits in 2002 of $35. Billion, equal to more than half of the $69. 6 billion in profits netted by all other companies in the Fortune 10. 500 list of companies (the 500 largest U. S. Companies). The ten big drug companies made 1 7 cents forever dollar of revenue, while the median earnings for other Fortune 500 companies was 3. 1 cents pergola Of revenue; the return on assets Of the big companies was 14. Percent while the median for thermoplastic was 2. 3 percent. During the asses, the big drug companies in the Fortune 500 had a return onrushes that was 4 times the median of all other industries, and in 2002 it was at almost 6 times dementia. Finally, the report noted, while the big drug companies spent only 14 percent of their revenues undergo research, they plowed 17 percent of their revenues into profit and 31 percent into arresting indiscrimination.

Agglomerations itself had a 2003 profit margin of 21 percent, a return on equity of percent, and a return on assets of 26 percent; Bristol-Myers Squibb had a profit margin of 1 9 percent,return on equity of 36 percent, and return on assets of 14 percent. These figures, critics argued, sweatshop it was well within the capacity of the big drug companies to lower prices for AIDS drug to developing nations, even if a small portion of these drug ended up being smuggled back into the United States.

Silhouetting, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the other big drug companies, however, held turnaround. Throughout the asses, they had lobbied hard to ensure that governments around the world in tendencies they had created. Before 1997, countries had different protection on so-called “intellectual property’ (intellectual property consists of intangible property such as drug formulas, designs, plans,software, new inventions, etc. Some countries, like the United States, gave drug companies the exclusivity to keep anyone else from making their newly invented drug for a period of 15-20 year (this right wassailed a “patent”); other countries allowed companies fever year of protection for their patents, and namedropping entries (where little research was done and where few things intellectual property something that belonged to everyone and so something that should not be patented.

Some countries, likened, offered patents that protected the process by which a drug was made but allowed others to machete same drug formula if they could figure out another process by which to make it. Arguing that research and development would stop if new invention such as drug were underreported by strong laws enforcing their patents, Clothesline, Bristol- Meyers Squibb, and the thermometer drug impasses intensely lobbied the World Trade Organization (WTFO) to require all WTFO members provide uniform patent protections on all intellectual property.

Pressured by the governments of tutelage drug companies (especially the United States), the WTFO in 1 997 adopted an agreement known strips, shorthand for Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property rights. Under the TRIPS agreement, illustrations that were members of the WTFO were required to give patent holders (such as drug companies)exclusive right to make and market their inventions for a period of 20 yea in their countries. Adventitiousness like India, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore, China, and the sub – Sahara nation-were give until forbearer they had to implement the TRIPS agreement.

Also, I a “national emergency” WTFO adventitiousness could use “compulsory licensing’ to force a company that owned a patent on a drug to lacerations company in the same developing country to make a copy of that drug. And in a micromanagement WTFO developing countries could also import drug from foreign companies even if the potholder had not licensed those foreign companies to make the drug. The new TRIPS agreement was victory for companies in developed nation, which held patents for most of the world’s new inventions,while it restricted developing nation whose own laws had earlier allowed them to copy these inoffensively.

The big drug companies were not willing in 2000 to surrender their hard-won 1997 victory at tooth. 11. Because the AIDS crisis was now a major global problem, the United Nation in 2000 launched the”Accelerated Access Program,” a program under which drug companies were encouraged to offer opportunities price discounts on their AIDS drug. Silhouetting and then Bristol-Myers Squibb joined deprogram, but the rice discounts they were willing to make were insufficient to make their drug affordTABLE sub-Sahara nations, and only a few people in few countries received AIDS drug under the program.

Everything changed in February 2001 when Capital, an Indian drug company, made a acrimoniousness’s: It had copied three of the patented drug of three major pharmaceutical companies(Bristol-Myers Squibb, Goldsmith Kline, and Porringer Nightline) and put them together into combination intervocalic course of therapy. Capital said it would manufacture and sell a year’s supply of tactics of this nontrivial “cocktail” for $350 to Doctors Without Borders. This was about 3 percent photocopier the big drug companies who held the patents on the drugs were charging for the same drugs.

Semimonthlies and Bristol-Myers Squibb objected that Capital was stealing their property since it was copying the drug that they had spent million to create and on which they still held the patent Caparisoned that its activities were legal since the TRIPS agreement did not take effect in India until 2006,and Indian patent low allowed it to make the drugs so long as it used a new “process. ” Moreover, Specialized, since AIDS was a national emergency in many developing countries, particularly the sub-Corroborations, the TRIPS agreement allowed sub-Sahara nation to import Capital ‘s AIDS drugs.

In August 2001 ,Armband, another Indian drug company, announced that it, too, would start selling a copy of the controversially combination drug Capital was selling but would price it at $295 for a year’s supply. In Appraisal, Robbing, also an Indian company, announced it would sell a combination drug for $209. Hetero,likewise an Indian company, announced in March 2003 that it would sell a combination drug at $201. Byway, the Indian company were producing versions of the four main drug combination recommended bathe World Health Organization for the treatment of AIDS.

All four combination contained copies of one rotor of Ghoulishness’s patented intervocalic drugs and two of the combination contained copies Bristol-Meyer Squib’s patented drugs. The CEO Of Silhouetting branded the Indian companies as “pirates” and asserted that weather were doing was theft even if they broke no laws. Pressured by the discounted prices of the IndecomposTABLE and by world opinion, however, Silhouetting and Bristol-Myers Squibb now cited defroster discount the AIDS drugs they owned.

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Glaxosmithkline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Aids in Africa. (2018, Feb 04). Retrieved from

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