Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The New Colonialism

Just what the world needs: a disgraced, impeached former U.S. president with a foundation that will negotiate coerce discounts with drug companies to funnel money to yet another UN boondoggle organization. All this based on unlegislated taxes on airline tickets.

You might think cheap AIDS drugs sounds like a lofty goal. What it really does is reward French generic drug companies who violate patents held by legitimate drug companies who have invested billions into drug research.

If Clinton OR the UN OR Brazil, Britain, Chile, France and Norway cared anything about AIDS in Africa, they would attack the root causes of the disease - dirty needles spreading the infection, poor sanitation, and lack of education coupled with poor nutrition and even basic health care. But that wouldn't enrich the "generic" drug companies formed by the French using cheap drugs imported from India and Brazil and their own generic drug companies sold to the Third World. In a speech, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, From the American Enterprise Institute explains the role of generic drugs in Europe.
Sanofi Aventis is one of the largest sellers of generic drugs in France, and the government helps the company protect that lucrative franchise by making it hard for other generic makers to enter the market.

European countries are overpaying for generic drugs to subsidize their local generic drug businesses, while underpaying for branded drugs, which are increasingly produced by American and Japanese companies.
In other words, American and Japanese drug companies bear the cost of development and testing and the French merely copy the drugs and then overcharge for the generic.
In Italy, for example, a study revealed that generic drugs cost almost twice as much as those in the U.S. Other data from a study commissioned by the U.S. Commerce Department shows that prices of U.S. generic drugs range from a third lower in France to almost half as much in both Italy and Germany.
Such, however, is the role of government when they determine what health care means. It is also clear that it is so profitable to the French government that extending the game to the so-called Third World would prove to be a real money maker.

Because, at bottom line, does anyone actually believe that with the poor health care delivery systems in Africa that AIDS treatment with even generic drugs would be possible? These are people who do not even receive vaccinations or even checkups in a lifetime.   And we expect there to be a strict regimen of diet and drugs delivered precisely on time?   What it will be, you can almost guarantee, would be another scam without accountability because who in Africa, after all, bothers to even count the populations, let alone fully document the existence of AIDS except as fantasty numbers embraced by the United Nations?
Yesterday the UN said there would be 50 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa by 2010, of whom 18.4million would have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Yet it was a crisis that had been ignored. A report from Unicef, the children's fund, revealed that from 2001 to 2003 the number of children worldwide orphaned by AIDS rose from 11.5 million to 15 million. Most of the AIDS orphans were in Africa, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic.
Poverty, lack of sanitation, lack of health care delivery systems, inadequate food, civil wars, murder, and the occasional genocide are, of course, not real revenue-generators for the French and their allies because they would actually have to spend money to improve the quality of life in Africa something you can bet the farm they aren't doing anytime in anyone's lifetime.

It is just a replay of French colonialism, folks. And it has the same taint of cynical exploitation for profit. The lack of accountability afforded through the Clinton Foundation and the U.N., however, make it even better this time around.

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