People Living With HIV/AIDS in Thailand Protest Health Minister's Plan to Review Legality of Compulsory Licenses
February 12, 2008
A network of people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other conditions on Saturday gathered at the office of Chaiya Sasomsap, Thailand's minister of public health, to protest his decision to review the legality of compulsory licenses issued by the country, Thailand's Nation reports (Pongphon, Nation, 2/10).
According to Chaiya, the commerce ministry has told him that the inclusion of Thailand on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's priority watch list "would have an impact on the economy and international trade with the U.S." (Nation, 2/10). He added that saving 500 million baht, or about $16 million, through the compulsory policy "would mean nothing compared to the damages we could suffer if billions of baht worth of our exports are boycotted."
Nimit Tienudom, director of the AIDS Access Foundation, said the group will monitor Chaiya's performance, particularly with the country's compulsory license policy, the Bangkok Post reports. Nimit said, "It will be a shame if he [terminates the licenses], as the country would lose so much and the poor would be deprived of life-saving drugs." Permanent Secretary for Health Prat Boonyawongwirote said he and Chaiya will discuss and review the compulsory license policy with commerce officials on Feb. 12 (Apiradee, Bangkok Post, 2/9).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.