segunda-feira, junho 18, 2007

Abbott ataca Act-Up Paris (3)

Paris, 14 June 2007

Abbott versus Act Up Paris:

AIDES ready for a boycott

In support of Act Up Paris, AIDES has announced that if Abbott does not withdraw its complaint against the former it will break off any contact with the pharmaceutical company. The latter has just launched a judicial attack against Act Up Paris following the organization’s actions on 26 April 2007, when it spurred several hundred people around the world to repeatedly access the Abbott website in an attempt to overload it.

The aim of this action was to protest against the company’s decision to cease marketing new medications in Thailand, among them Kaletra, a second-line antiretroviral therapy in pill form. Abbott’s decision followed an announcement by the Thai government that it was to issue compulsory licences, in particular for a drug over which Abbott has monopoly control. Compulsory licences allow governments to manufacture or import generic versions of drugs – a practice authorized by the World Trade Organization – that are of the same quality but less expensive.

The awarding of a compulsory licence to Kaletra in particular is necessary to enable Thailand to supply this drug, which is vital for those who are seropositive and need to change their therapeutic regimen when their virus becomes resistant. A compulsory licence would allow Thailand to import generic versions of the drug at lower prices than those charged by Abbott.

Abbott’s decision therefore means denying Thai AIDS sufferers an indispensable medication, with full awareness of the consequences. Beyond Thailand, this odious act of retaliation threatens all developing countries.

While again calling on Abbott to cease its reprisals against countries employing compulsory licences, AIDES also demands that it terminate legal proceedings against Act Up Paris, which AIDES expresses solidarity with and will continue to back to the hilt.


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