||[May. 18th, 2004|11:45 pm]
|[||current mental instability
|||||i feel so optimistic||]|
Further to G.Dubya's record on HIV. Access to drugs for the 'third world' is something I feel passionately about as any of you who have been reading my rants for a sustained period know.
From what little info we get here it looks good. All the complications that I discussed in my long post multiply dramatically if there isn't access to clean water, food, a clock to know when to take medications... These early attempts at delivering a few different drugs in the same pill will go some way to meeting the practicalities.
Now we just need to finish getting clean water to the whole planet and fixing up food distribution.
I don't know what to make of this move politically. I've been reading Peter Singer on the ethical framework of George Bush and I am inclined to conclude that he isn't wilfully evil. He is just very capable of justifying the evil he does to himself through having no real ethical framework.
Maybe he did this out of good will. I doubt it. It might tie up with a deal struck over the medicaid[?] reforms? Or maybe it's throwing the log cabins a bone before the election. Maybe Washington is realising the global implications of letting all of Africa die...
Stop the world I want to get off.
This makes me happy, whatever brought it about.
After months of badgering by AIDS activists and health officials, the Bush administration has finally come to its senses and found a way to provide cheap generic drugs and single-pill combinations of drugs to millions of people infected with the AIDS virus in Africa and the Caribbean. It is a welcome shift that could save vast numbers of lives.
The administration won plaudits last year when it announced a $15 billion program to combat AIDS in poor nations. But that deserved applause turned into dismay when the administration balked at paying for the treatments the World Health Organization deemed the most effective. These medications, from foreign manufacturers, combine three patented AIDS drugs into a single pill that is cheaper and far easier to take than the individual drugs. The administration said it had doubts about the safety of the combined pills, but it might also have wanted to protect its patrons in the drug industry.
Now, in a stunning change of course, Tommy Thompson, secretary of health and human services, has announced an expedited review process by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure the safety of the combination pills. He has also offered assurances that patent issues will not impede purchases of these drugs for poor countries.
Any country receiving grants from the main international AIDS program was already able to buy the generic pills with that money. The main effect of the administration's new policy is that American funds will be available. Some health advocates grumble that Washington is piling on an unnecessary level of review. But if the administration felt it needed F.D.A. review to ensure safety and efficacy, or even simply to save face, the result can only be beneficial to millions of infected individuals.