Big Pharma is at it again. I have long been conerned by their attempts at restricting access to cheaper alternative drugs. Originally, the Trade Related Intellectual Property Agreement provided the pharmaceutical companies with a great deal of bite in the global market through enhanced patent protection. However, thanks to a third world led fight for an exception in the TRIPS Agreement, patented drugs need not be shoved down the throats of needy patients in countries where they can’t afford the drugs. They can obtain cheaper alternatives. This exception applies when there is a public health emergency.
Therefore, given H1N1’s status as a pandemic, the public health emergency exception should now apply to TAMIFLU. But, would patients be able to get their hands on cheaper alternatives? Seems like the World Health Organisation is serving Big Pharma’s interest right now.
The following article from The Independent is instructive: