And AIDS Drugs
- June 28 - Vice President Gore's role in setting policies for AIDS drugs in countries
such as South Africa has become a simmering issue. These analysts are available
to explain why:
ROBERT WEISSMAN, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Co-director of the Essential Action organization founded by Ralph Nader and co-author
of "Corporate Predators," Weissman said: "Africa is suffering from an AIDS epidemic
that U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher equates with the plague that decimated
Europe in the 14th century. But while treatments are available to enable many
people with HIV/AIDS to live relatively normal lives, the pharmaceutical industry
has priced them out of reach. When countries like South Africa seek to undertake
to lower the cost of essential medicines for HIV/AIDS, the U.S. government shamefully
bullies them, threatening them with trade and other sanctions. Gore has played
a leading role in carrying out this unconscionable policy. It is time he reversed
himself and U.S. government policy, so that people's health needs triumph over
JULIE DAVIDS, email@example.com
A member of ACT UP Philadelphia, where Gore will be fundraising today, Davids
said: "Al Gore has played a pivotal role in threatening trade sanctions against
South Africa for their 1997 law which permits the generic manufacture of AIDS
drugs, even though such a law is allowed by trade agreements that the U.S. has
signed. The pharmaceutical companies oppose this law not because they would lose
any money directly -- they can't sell significant amounts of AIDS drugs in South
Africa at the prices they are charging -- but because they don't want people in
the U.S. and other wealthy nations to realize that these drugs cost pennies to
PETER LURIE, M.D., firstname.lastname@example.org,
A medical researcher with Public Citizen's Health Research Group, Dr. Lurie (who
has conducted research on AIDS in South Africa, where he is from) said: "Right
now, HIV is spreading in South Africa at a rate about as high as anywhere in the
world. For the U.S. government to prevent the South Africans from using a perfectly
legal mechanism for addressing this terrible epidemic is unconscionable."
ELLEN MILLER, email@example.com,
Executive director of Public Campaign, Miller said: "Why is Al Gore leading the
Clinton administration's efforts to prevent Third World countries like South Africa
from producing or buying affordable generic versions of critically needed AIDS
drugs? The answer: there's literally millions of dollars in hard and soft money
contributions to be had by serving the interests of the pharmaceutical industry.
The Gore campaign is well-positioned to reap a bumper crop of pharmaceutical cash."
|Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.
press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by
one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community.
you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information,
please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)
E-mail us your news release! firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyrighted 1997-2000
All Rights Reserved. Common Dreams. www.commondreams.org