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[OT] Re: [News] Patents That Are Are Greed, Death

Verily I say unto thee, that Roy Schestowitz spake thusly:
> Western Hypocrisy on Intellectual Monopolies
> http://opendotdotdot.blogspot.com/2008/12/western-hypocrisy-on-intellectual.html

On the one hand, the IGM saw the US, Japan and the EU pushing hard for
relinquishment of sovereign rights, an interpretation of the
International Health Regulations that obligates the sharing of viruses,
text that requires countries to share as "all, as feasible, cases of
H5N1 and other influenza viruses with human pandemic potential" with
their laboratories in the name of global public health and pandemic

However, on the other hand, they appear unwilling to commit in
particular their manufacturers and researchers that receive biological
materials to any concrete benefit sharing scheme, or to address IP
issues in a manner that benefits developing countries' public health and
pandemic preparedness.

IOW they know what they /should/ do for the benefit of public health,
but they're too selfish and greedy to do it.

The problem with the pharmaceutical industry is there's a dangerous
conflict of interest between the academic objective and the primary
motive (money). Of course, this is a problem in all areas of research,
but few others have any impact on public health. I feel this is one area
of research that needs to be regulated in such a way as to completely
remove that ulterior motive (and thus the conflict) through the process
of nationalisation. IMHO anything related to public health issues should
be classified as a public service, and not private enterprise, and thus
owned and controlled by the public through government ownership.

Unfortunately, successive British governments have implemented a highly
destructive agenda of privatisation over the last few decades
(presumably the US did likewise), even that party which traditionally
supported nationalisation (Labour) in its all-new designer right-wing
"New Labour" suit, so the prospect of change for the better looks highly
unlikely in the near future.

You'd think the politicians would have got the message, and spotted the
obvious pattern of failure in their privatisation plans, since every
single undertaking has failed miserably.

At one point, the British Rail network (the now defunct Railtrack)
actually went bankrupt, resulting in absolute chaos and a massive loss
in productivity for British industry.

The partially privatised NHS (cleaning service contracts) has resulted
in the decline of hospital hygiene standards so severe, there seems to
be a permanent epidemic of so-called "Superbugs" (antibiotic-resistant
strains of food-poisoning bacteria) which kills thousands of patients
every year. Sadly, this includes both of my parents.

Energy privatisation has resulted in gas and electricity prices rising
to the point where people have to make a choice between eating or
staying warm. The latest increase was around 40% IIRC, and was merely
one of a rapid succession of such increases. This is bad enough for most
people, but it actually kills thousands of elderly people every year.
This is made all the more ironic by the fact that we have a virtually
self-sustaining energy industry (our own oil; gas; hydro-electric; and
nuclear power stations) and thus should not be greatly affected by world
shortages and price fluctuations. But like so many other things in the
UK, and thanks to the disease of globalisation, nearly the entire energy
industry is owned by foreign interests.

Clearly there is a strong case for certain industries to be recognised
as vital public services, and thus nationalised in order to protect the
public's interests. The pharmaceutical industry is just one of them.


| "At the time, I thought C was the most elegant language and Java
|  the most practical one. That point of view lasted for maybe two
|  weeks after initial exposure to Lisp."   ~ Constantine Vetoshev

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