Monopolizing drugs

So much for hopes of international cooperation in the fight against Covid-19. The US has just bought up “virtually all stocks” of the drug Remdesivir – leaving the rest of the world with none “for the next three months”. The drug, made under patent by the US pharma giant Gilead, is one of just two treatments proven to help people recover faster from the virus. The Trump administration has repeatedly shown it is “prepared to outbid and outmanoeuvre all other countries” to secure vital medical supplies. Still, the announcement this week was certainly timely: it coincides with evidence that the pandemic in the US is “spiralling out of control”. Other Western countries could secure supplies of the drug were they to tear up the patents’ rule book and buy from “generic companies in Bangladesh or India, where Gilead’s patent is not recognised”. So far, it hasn’t come to that. But America’s “unilateral action” raises fears of what will happen when the holy grail of a vaccine becomes available. Cornering the market on Remdesivir is perhaps a “taste of things to come”. (Sarah Boseley, The Guardian 4 July 2020)

My comment:   Of course what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander …….. were the Oxford University covid 19 drug to be proved effective and safe, what is the prevent the British from declaring their own monopoly and refusing access to Americans and everyone else?  Hard to keep up with the short-sighted stupidities.

I remember with affection the era in which the priority was to get nations working together for the common good.  There are still people, all too many, who do not subscribe to civilized mutual cooperation.  “Beggar you’re neighbour” seems to be quite acceptable as a policy for everything.  Anti-Epicurean to be sure; short- sighted as well.

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