Home Archives 2004 February

Monthly Archives: February 2004

Doctors Call for Abbott Boycott on AIDS Price Hike
“A group of AIDS doctors on Tuesday called for a boycott of drugs made by Abbott Laboratories Inc. to protest the company’s recent price hike on an important HIV medicine.”

What makes this case particularly interesting is that the price hike is seen by many as a tactic to make using other company’s AIDS drugs more expensive, as they are typically prescribed with Abbott’s Novir, and compensate for profit shortfalls from the the lower than expected doses of Norvir that are being prescribed.

See also: Kaisernetwork, Natap.org.

On thin ice: how the quest for a billion-dollar microbe is running out of control in Earth’s last wilderness
A new UN study implies that searching for exremeophiles in areas such as the Antarctic “is threatening to plunder the planet’s last wilderness.” The body of the report, however, seems to focus on intellectual property issues.

While are cases where pharmaceutical companies have patented indigenous products (eg. neem), there are no Antarctic natives! The aim of the report seems to be to establish guidelines to level the playing field, because “ethical companies felt they could not assert their intellectual property rights with government agencies.”

I’m not sure I really understand what any of this has to do with plundering the wilderness. Seems more like the sort of crisis-by-equivocation that the United Nations is famous for.