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Re: <nettime> anthrax[r][tm] digest [hagenlocher, byfield]
Felix Stalder on Sun, 21 Oct 2001 01:38:44 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> anthrax[r][tm] digest [hagenlocher, byfield]

>Curt Hagenlocher <curth {AT} motek.com>
>     IP in the Age of Anthrax

>The Canadian government has ordered a million pills of Cipro
>from a pharmaceutical manufacturer not licensed to produce it.
>Already, some in the US (such as NY Senator Charles Schumer)
>are looking to follow the Canadian example.

Right now, the Canadian government is in full scale retreat on this issue.
The whole affair has turned into a major political embarrassment. The
opposition is accusing the Health Minister of breaking the law and is
demanding criminal charges against him.  Bayer Inc., the patent holder,
claims that it was never asked to supply Cipro which it supposedly has in
stock in sufficient quantities.

The whole affair is now being blamed on "junior employees" within the
ministry [1] and Bayer is likely to be compensated (which means that gov
has to pay twice, once to the maker of the generic drugs and once to
Bayer.). Interestingly, the generic drug is only ~25% cheaper that the
brand name [2].

All in all, it looks like the Canadian government is setting a bad
precedence when it comes to suspending the patent law under conditions of
emergency. Perhaps the fallout for the AIDS discussion is rather negative,
but how strong the links between the cases really are is difficult to


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