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Thailand overrules AIDS and heart disease medicine patents

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Erik Mesoy, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Taliesin

    Taliesin Puttin' on the Ritz

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    Only so long as it is. When it's not, it's not.
     
  2. amadeus

    amadeus As seen on OT

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    How many employees can a company have before you lose your attachment, and why should your emotions govern the economy? It seems like a rather silly argument.

    Delivering a profit is as much of a moral benefit to society as a church collecting donations is. Where do you think the money that goes to pay for all of those drugs goes, into a big fire pit? It pays people, people with jobs, and those people can then survive on that money; it sounds to me like they do a lot more than a church basement potluck.

    Beside that, who cares what the motive of a company is? Results are what matters, because the cliche goes that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

    Very well, but you shouldn't steal their ideas and then undersell them. I don't see the morality in that.

    If they refuse to pay for the drugs, then they aren't customers; they're freeloaders.

    It has been wronged, because their product has been stolen and recopied without any compensation; it's no different than a Thai government official going into a McDonald's and taking out all the cash registers.
     
  3. Taliesin

    Taliesin Puttin' on the Ritz

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    If I feel an obligation to my local grocer that goes beyond a mere economic relationship, it will be because he and his service are part of my community. A Loblaws board member is not. That doesn't mean I wouldn't relate to them as a person if I were to meet them, but qua Loblaws board member I owe them nothing.
    Money isn't a moral good. A company doesn't deserve praise for seeking money, because the money is its own reward. Whether somebody makes money is a morally indifferent question.
    Luckily you've saved me the trouble of replying to that one.
    Former customers, then. If the Thai government are freeloaders here, then the drug companies are murderers. It's probably better to think of them both as disinterested utility-seekers.
    In the language of economic utility, there is no such thing as "wronged." If the company had the power to enforce its "intellectual property rights," it would, but it doesn't. Abstract notions such as "intellectual property rights" have no force of their own here; if they did, then so would abstract notions such as "right to life" and "right to reasonable assistance."

    Like I said, you can't have it both ways. What we're cheering here is that the government had the power to do the moral thing-- i.e., to place a higher priority on life than on intellectual rights.
     
  4. Stylesjl

    Stylesjl SOS Brigade Member

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    I suppose you will explain to me exactly how they improved Thai lives?

    Didn't think so

    These ammoral pigs can roll in mud and squeal when they finally get someone who is brave enough to value lives over some silly concept to flout their dumb laws.

    Lives will be saved, a corporation takes a pay cut, what a disaster:lol:
     
  5. Pontiuth Pilate

    Pontiuth Pilate Republican Jesus!

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    This debate would be a lot different if it were Chinese corporations selling overpriced lifesaving drugs to Americans.
     
  6. Sahkuhnder

    Sahkuhnder Delusions of grandeur

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    Bold by me.


    It appears most people's first impulse is something like: Drugs for poor people? I'm all for that!

    This issue is not as clearly defined and simplistic as it may appear at first glance. Most of the posters seem firmly in agreement with the Thai government, so I'll play the other side. An objective harm is being committed.

    Imagine a boardroom somewhere...The CEO of a major drug company has a billion dollar R&D budget with which to develop new drugs today for sale years from now.

    Option A is to spend the money to develop the next generation of even more effective heart, blood pressure, cholesterol control, etc., drugs which will save millions of lives over decades of use.

    Option B is to spend the money to develop a cure for baldness, male impotence, skin wrinkles, etc., drugs that will save no lives at all.

    If the CEO believes that the R&D money invested in option A will lead to governments stealing and copying the new drugs they develop, will he choose option A?

    Option B seems a much safer investment. Think about it for a moment, how much is spent today on cures for lifestyle or cosmetic type ailments? Do we want to encourage this trend? As you reduce the profits for R&D on important medications, you will only encourage the continued migration to R&D for unimportant medications.

    There is no free lunch. As justified as this particular case may seem, let's not pretend that the Thai government isn't stealing research work that they didn't pay for and that isn't theirs.
     
  7. Erik Mesoy

    Erik Mesoy Core Tester / Intern

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    From original article:
    "According to the World Trade Organization's agreements on intellectual property, a government may issue a compulsory license in case of a national public health emergency."

    Better now?

    Incorrect; that would be theft. Copying is not theft. Dowling v United States. Insert random snippy remark here. Theft of a thing deprives the owner of the ability to use it, as in the case of taking cash registers (and, I suppose, the cash in them).
    ...
    One more time, because I know so many people have problems with this in IP-related threads:
    Reproducing a copyrighted or patented object is not theft, for the same reason that refusing to buy something is not theft from the seller. In both cases, the "victim" has not lost property, but opportunity. The word is usually "infringement".


    @Sahkuhnder: I'll get to the specifics of your post later, but given augurey's comment at the start of the thread, and noting that patent laws hamper furthered development by other agents, do you think that R&D might be accelerated by forcing companies to compete on other factors than being the first to file as wide a claim as possible?
     

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