Lies, Damn Lies, & Press Releases from Jamie Love

  • by: |
  • 11/06/2007
Maybe they should call it Médecins Avec Menteurs.

In an e-mail today from the folks over at Médecins Sans Frontières discuss this week's meeting in Geneva of the WHO's Intergovernmental Working Group for Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property (IGWG).

Here's what MSF has to say about the current fight against "neglected" diseases:

"“The R&D system is broken. It is not delivering,” said Dr. Tido von Schoen-Angerer, Director of MSF’s Access to Essential Medicines Campaign."

And here's what the infamous Jamie Love said in an ensuing paragraph:

"We need new mechanisms and institutional responses to move toward a paradigm of innovation plus access, rather than a set of poorly functioning trade-offs. The big ideas in the negotiation are patent pools, prizes and a treaty on medical R&D. They are also the most

What a terrific example of the "Big Lie."

Consider what Solomon Nwaka (leader of drug discovery activities at the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases at the WHO) wrote (along with other co-authors from Pfizer) on the subject of finding ways to battle tropical diseases:

"Scaling up drug-discovery capacity for neglected diseases means designing a mechanism that is attractive to all stakeholders — such as industry, academia, governments and international agencies — involved in drug discovery. Despite a lack of market incentive, about half of the research projects currently focusing on neglected diseases are conducted by pharmaceutical companies. Several large companies, most notably GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly, have founded research institutes dedicated to research into tropical diseases. Industry also makes a substantial contribution in kind to public–private product-development partnerships. Also, in recent years, funding from governments and philanthropic foundations has helped to establish new drug-discovery units for tropical diseases in developed and developing countries."

Here is a link to the complete article in Nature:

And let's not forget what Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's Director-General had to say about why communicable diseases remain such a large problem in poor countries and are often neglected by research and development. One reason, she said, is that the pharmaceutical industry "has little incentive to develop drugs and vaccines for markets that cannot pay."

Indeedn if a company stands no chance of recouping even a portion of that investment, where is its incentive to tackle the many diseases that ravage the developing world?

And yet, according to MSF, "intellectual property is not a significant factor in contributing to innovation for diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries."

Thomas Carlyle said, "Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand." Mr. Love and his friends at Médecins Sans Frontières are trying to sell a "vision" that, conveniently, blames the West for the problems of the developing world while what "lies clearly at hand" is almost exactly the opposite -- that the rule of law that has allowed for the development of the modern pharmaceutical industry via protection of interllectual property is what lights the road to victory over the scourge of neglected diseases.

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.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog