James Love Response to My Blog

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  • 01/28/2007
Robert, several points on this blog.

1. Countries can issue compulsory licenses for all sorts of reasons, not even limited to health, such as, for example, the recent US compulsory licenses for the Blackberry device, Microsoft DRM patents (held by Z4), Toyota, DirectTV and Johnson and Johnson.

2. Thailand has one of the best medical infrastructures in the world, which is one reason why it is becoming a common destination for European or US citizens, as a place for surgery. But this is besides the point. Since when do you need "infusion centers and trained technicians" to take Gleevec or Plavix?

3. Your claim that "The generic makers have developed unworkable and unsafe meds that have contributed to drug resistant HIV strains" is supported by what evidence? The WHO and the US FDA are both approving the quality of generic medicines for HIV. Is the Bush administration too "pro-generics" for you?

4. Your are free to have your own view of the Leavitt exchange. True, Leavitt did not issue a compulsory license to allow generic supplies. However, Leavitt has told Roche they must manufacture Tamiflu locally (a local working requirement on the patent), to protect US access and so the US can seize supplies in the case of an emergency. If Roche had refused this request? If they had refused, Leavitt was in the position to issue the compulsory license. The testimony has read by many as a unilateral demand by the US for local production, made at the very time the US Congress was asking for the compulsory license. As you noted, Leavett told the Congress, that if Roche did not expand production, "its important for Americans to know that the federal government will do everything necessary to protect people in this country." What exactly does that mean to you? Canceling Christmas cards for Roche?

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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