Sunday, 23 October 2005

Patents & Monopoly vs. People

Taken from Slashdot this morning, this little diddy had me wondering...

"The Taiwanese government has announced that it will violate patent laws to manufacture a drug that can help fight bird flu virus. In doing so, they have spelled out their reasoning very clearly: 'We have tried our best to negotiate with Roche, it means we have shown our goodwill to Roche and we appreciate their patent. But to protect our people is the utmost important thing'. Not being in Taiwan, this makes me wonder how bad the situation would have to be for some of the other governments to follow a path of violating patent and copyright laws for the benefit of the general population. Are there precedents, procedures for doing so?"

While I recognize the efforts of the scientists / researchers and the need to satisfy shareholders, I must question the prudence of withholding information that could save lives.

I was on the phone with my parents earlier and both of them expressed concern about "Bird Flu". Sheesh, I woke up with sniffles and thought of it. The eggheads say that this thing could rival the epidemic experienced in the early 1900's !! Do you know that Europe lost countless lives in that one ? This thing is a fucking killer !!

If Roche, or any other company has ANYTHING that can help curtail the spread / infection / viability of this "Bird Flu"..shouldn't they offer it to others..Freely and with all good speed ? I invest, I invest money in the hopes of a better future for myself and those close to me but I am willing to take a hit in the pocketbook if lives are at stake !

My $0.02 worth

By the way, here's ROCHE's financial tell me if they're suffering

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