British Treasury Chief Urges Action on Cheap Drugs for Poor Countries
February 18, 2003
In an interview published today in the Guardian, British Treasury chief Gordon Brown said diseases such as HIV/AIDS threaten global security, and action is needed to make cheap drugs available to poor countries. Gordon was speaking in advance of World Trade Organization talks to be held today. Developing countries are demanding they be allowed to override patents on vital drugs and import cheap generics to deal with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. But the United States has so far refused to accept a compromise proposal, claiming countries could abuse the system to ignore patents on other drugs. "I think any world where you've got poverty, ill health and disease which is avoidable, standing side by side with what people see as comfort and plenty, cannot be just or stable. A failure to act in these areas ... affects national interests," Brown said.Adapted from:
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.