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March 24, 2005

How the WTO Kills

As a requirement of India joining the WTO, people must die.

That is the likely result of India being forced to change its patent law. While the final bill was not as bad as some feared, the result will be higher drug prices for life-saving medicine:

In Africa, exports by Indian companies, especially Cipla and Ranbaxy Laboratories, helped drive the annual price of antiretroviral treatment down from $15,000 per patient a decade ago to about $200 now. They also simplified therapy by putting three AIDS drugs in one pill. Dr. Yusuf Hamied, Cipla's chairman, called the new law "a very sad day for India."
But Big Pharma celebrated:
S. Ramakrishna, chief lobbyist for Pfizer India, a subsidiary of the world's largest drug maker, said the bill's passage abandoned "the utopian concept that every invention should be as free as air or water," according to The International Herald Tribune.
If people have to die, so be it.

Forget the war in Iraq. Drug patents are the true weapons of mass murder in the world today.

Posted by Nathan at March 24, 2005 07:47 AM