Abbott Labs to Thailand: Pay or We'll Kill You

15 de may de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Abbott Labs to Thailand: Pay or We'll Kill You</h1><p>May 15 (EIRNS) - Abbott Labs, the producer of the HIV/AIDS drug Kaletra, is retaliating against Thailand's move to use a generic version of the drug, by withdrawing applications to introduce seven new drugs in Thailand, including a heat-stable version of Kaletra. More than one-in-100 adults in Thailand is infected with HIV, and AIDS has become a leading cause of death in the country.</p><p>Thai Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla last week received the support of former U.S. President Bill Clinton for his move, perfectly legal under international law, to override drug company patent protections in cases of life or death. Clinton's move marked a decisive public break with theof his former Vice President Al Gore.</p><p>The Thai patent override procedure is known under World Trade Organization regulations as compulsory licensing. Abbott Labs is offering to reduce the price of Kaletra, only if Thailand gives up the compulsory licensing. Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla said yesterday that he would not cancel his policy unless the drug companies lowered their prices to less than those for generic copies. The drug company is also implicated in a slanderous public relations campaign, led by neocon Kenneth Adelman, against Thailand.</p><p>Sources in Thailand told EIR that despite the sharp political crisis, where the military junta which conducted a coup last year is now reported to be planning a second coup against the former military leaders it had placed in power, the nation is fully united behind the government's courageous stand to defend lives.</p></div></body>