Monday, March 5, 2007

Thailand Saves Over a Billion Baht a Year By Stealing US-European Intellectual Property

Drug licences could free up Bt1 billion

The compulsory licensing of three life-saving medicines could help save the state budget between Bt1 billion and Bt1.7 billion per year and allow the distribution of drugs to far more patients, according to estimates by the National Health Security Office (NHSO).

It might mean the government's universal healthcare scheme could double the distribution of the anti-retroviral efavirenz drugs, said NHSO boss Dr Sa-nguan Nitayarumphong.

Efavirenz was the first HIV drug to receive a compulsory government license.

The government could also save up to 40 per cent on distribution of the second compulsorily licensed HIV drug, Kaletra, allowing its distribution to more than 50 per cent more of those patients who were initially turned down for treatment, Sa-nguan said.

He said the compulsory licensing on Plavix, the anti-platelet drug, which is used by heart disease patients, would allow the government to buy a generic version of the medication at a sixth of the price. Before compulsory licensing, only 20 per cent of patients who needed the drug received the medication but this will change when the treatment prices tumble, added Sa-nguan. The compulsory licensing would help to save at least Bt200 million a year in case of efavirenz, Bt200 million for Kaletra and Bt600 million on the Plavix budget, he said.

All together, the country could free up more than Bt1 billion after the compulsory licensing of the three drugs, said Sa-nguan.

Plus hundreds of millions of dollars in software, movies, games, DVDs, and brand name clothes.


Anonymous said...

So far as I am aware, drug licenses may be broken in cases of 'national emergency'. The 'national emergency' that Thailand seems to be having is that it wants to save some money by ripping off more foreigners. After this, the alleged misappopriation of tsunami relief funds, the recent downgrading of Thai to a 'Priority Watch' counterfeiter and the disgraceful FBA changes, the amusing thing is that Thailand really expects foreigners will continue to trust them in preference to Vietnam. Denial or delusion?

Fonzi said...

As long as the plane loads of foreign tourists keep piling in, foreign portfolio managers keep pouring billions into the market, multinationals keep building factory after factory, and western governments not making a peep about being ripped off, then nothing is going to change.

I would say from writing this blog that Thailand has jumped the shark in so many different ways, but the empirical evidence tells me that it is business as usual.

I don't how to explain it.

Thailand seems to have a magical force field around it.

Even though I am not a superstitious person, I do believe in karma or at least in karmic justice.

Will Thailand face its day of reckoning for its lack of integrity?