When Corporate profits risk Global Health

Richard Holbrooke gets it all wrong.

First, he claims that Indonesia wants to keep virus sequences secret, to start a Global Pandemic:

When “Sovereignty” Risks Global Health
by Richard C. Holbrooke & Laurie Garrett

NEW YORK – Here’s a concept you’ve probably never heard of: “viral sovereignty.” This dangerous idea comes to us courtesy of Indonesia’s minister of health, Siti Fadilah Supari, who asserts that deadly viruses are the sovereign property of individual nations – even though they cross borders and could pose a pandemic threat to all the world’s peoples. Political leaders around the world should take note – and take very strong action.

But the problem is–and Richard knows better–is that Indonesia would be all to happy to give access to the virii as long as they would be able to manufacture the resulting vaccines under an open license. (See coverage here and here.) So I could just as well write a piece titled: Profits of Western Pharmaceutical Companies threaten Global Pandemic, because that is what the CDC’s well announced plan is: to turn over all the sequences to a Pharmaceutical Company, and let them reap windfall profits on a blockbuster drug. Of course, to bad for those who can’t afford the vaccines, they should just die. So sorry.

Clearly, the solution is this: government labs (or private labs under contract) develop the vaccine, and then license it to any pharmaceutical company qualified to manufacture it, as a generic. Open licensing. Equity. That is all Indonesia is asking for, Richard.

Of course that would have the benefit of making a quality vaccine widely available–but it would do the unforgivable–deny a pharmacuetical company somewhere a billion or two of profits.

Who–just who–are the terrorists?

When Corporate profits risk Global Health

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