Friday, March 16, 2007

Bangkok Post: Attacking Companies that Protect Their Intellectual Property is Justified

Justice slams Abbott's drug decision

Jarun: Crosses the line between profit, morals


A top justice official yesterday denounced a US drug maker's withholding of new medicines from Thailand, saying it overstepped the line between business profits and morality. ''The drug industry is an obvious profit-oriented business. But its present business protection goes beyond the limit _ to the extent that the principle of human rights has been completely forgotten,'' said Permanent Secretary for Justice Jarun Pukditanakul.

Mr Jarun was speaking after US drug firm Abbott Laboratories announced it would withdraw applications for six drugs in protest at the government's breaking of its patent for the anti-Aids drug Kaletra.


IThe frame of this article is that Thailand is justified in stealing the intellectual property of other countries under the guise of human rights.

Last time I checked the human rights charter, private property was considered a protected human right. Thailand is also violating the rights of companies to protect their intellectual property, another right protected under a host of different treaties and regimes. Also, no company should be compelled to sell their products unless there was truly a national or international emergency that is unpreventable.

Aids and heart disease are preventable conditions. Why should Western companies pay for the costs of the risky behaviors of Thai people?

Why don't Thai pharmaceutical companies spends hundreds of millions of dollars on developing their own drugs? Of course, we know the answer to that question.

And talking of so-called morals, when will Thailand stop supporting a sex industry and other risky behaviors that perpetuate health crises in this country?

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