AIDS Drugs for Developing Countries

Should AIDS drugs be made cheaper for developing countries?

AIDS Drugs for Developing Countries
Yes because...

Without a doubt, many of the world’s drug companies are making large profits by selling drugs to the...

Without a doubt, many of the world’s drug companies are making large profits by selling drugs to the poorer nations that have massive HIV/AIDS problems. This is an immoral exploitation of those AIDS sufferers who can least afford to pay the huge sums of money for treatment, but who have the least power internationally to negotiate for cheaper prices.

No because...

Just like any business, the pharmaceutical companies need to recoup huge financial investments in research and development. In the case of AIDS drugs, the mechanisms that many of them employ to work are highly technical and a huge return on the initial financial investment is needed if drug companies are to have any reason to pursue the next generation of AIDS drugs.

AIDS Drugs for Developing Countries
Yes because...

The countries with the biggest AIDS problems are held as a captive market and are forced essentially...

The countries with the biggest AIDS problems are held as a captive market and are forced essentially to pay whatever the drug companies demand for their products. These poor nations are thus justified in using the threat of generic drugs to force the companies to lower their prices.

No because...

Drug companies are by no means omnipotent, they are as much subject to the forces of the free market as any other business. If anything, the nations in Southern Africa have the largest market for the drugs in the world, so the drug companies would not be supplying the drugs at the current price, if people were not buying them. The threat of generic drugs only further serves to discourage drug companies from creating new and more effective medicines, as the developing nations have shown them that their patent rights will not be respected.

AIDS Drugs for Developing Countries
Yes because...

Generic drugs would be far cheaper to produce, and without the shipping costs from factories in Euro...

Generic drugs would be far cheaper to produce, and without the shipping costs from factories in Europe. The generic drugs would also have no research and development costs to create, so they could be sold for a far reduced price from what the drug companies are charging. The average cost for keeping a person on a course of AZT and other drug cocktails whilst they have HIV is exorbitant, a cost which would be hugely reduced through the use of generic substitutes.

No because...

Because most of the drug companies are based in richer, first world nations, they have both the technology to produce effective medicines, and the funding to ensure that no corners are cut in the process. The poorer nations would almost certainly cut certain chemical corners in their manufacture of generic drugs, should the technology for their large-scale manufacture even be available. In addition, by contravening international intellectual property rights treaties, they would be alienating themselves from the rest of the world and will not benefit from the next generation of AIDS drugs, as companies will be reluctant to supply a country that will just steal the drug formula and make cheap generic substitutes.

AIDS Drugs for Developing Countries
Yes because...

The suffering of millions of people is ongoing, for as long as the drug companies refuse to make AID...

The suffering of millions of people is ongoing, for as long as the drug companies refuse to make AIDS medication available to the poorer nations at a price they can afford. Are they trying to use the millions of HIV sufferers as hostages in their battle to get the prices they want?

No because...

Is it right that third world sufferers should get huge discounts, whilst first world sufferers pay the full price? First world nations may even have to pay more, if the drug companies decide to subsidise their “charity sales” by charging the developed countries more. Are the poorer countries not using the sufferers as hostages themselves? Many of the developing nations would in fact make huge long term savings by buying and using preventive medicines to stop mother to child transmission, etc.

AIDS Drugs for Developing Countries
Yes because...

The drug companies will not end up making a loss by reducing the medicine prices anyway. Basic laws ...

The drug companies will not end up making a loss by reducing the medicine prices anyway. Basic laws of the market should tell you that the reduced profit for drugs like AZT and Nevirapine will be recouped from the fact that the drugs will suddenly become affordable to a market of millions of sufferers, many of whom will be using products like AZT for the duration of the disease, so it would not be a case of the companies losing money in making the drugs cheaper after all.

No because...

Even at the bare minimum price at which the drug companies would break even, the majority of the third world would be unable to afford the drugs. One-off treatments to prevent mother to child transmission and for rape victims, etc. would be expensive enough. The cost prices for complex drug cocktails would still be exorbitant, and way out of the budget of the developing nations, so no matter how much the drug companies sell, they would still be making a loss.

AIDS Drugs for Developing Countries
Yes because...

By buying the medicines now, especially for preventative purposes, the developing nations can succee...

By buying the medicines now, especially for preventative purposes, the developing nations can succeed in reducing their HIV positive population and thus not have to worry about buying the next generation of (inevitably more expensive) drugs. They are as cheap as they can go at the moment, so instead of threatening and insisting on cheaper prices, the developing nations should invest now, so that they do not need to buy more expensive drugs in bigger quantities for the larger amounts of sufferers they will otherwise have to deal with later.

No because...

No matter how low they drug companies can sell their product, it is unlikely to ever be cheap enough, as the number of HIV infected people in Africa grows, the strain on the national health spending of governments will become unbearable. These countries are better off pursuing preventative measures and education with the money they have to spend for health. Because of this, they will need to save money in other areas of healthcare, and the greatest savings can still be made by producing cheap, generic medicines.



AIDS Drugs for Developing Countries

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