Monday, April 1, 2013

Corporations have no soul, but that could be fixed

"But the ruling’s effect will be felt well beyond the limited number of patients in India who need Gleevec, because it will help maintain India’s role as the world’s most important provider of inexpensive medicines, which is critical in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Gleevec can cost as much as $70,000 per year, while Indian generic versions cost about $2,500 year.
'The judgment in the Novartis case is a victory for patients both in India and around the world,' Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, chairman of Cipla, an Indian generic drug giant, wrote in an e-mail. “India, being the pharmacy capital of the world, can continue to produce affordable, high-quality medicines without the threat of patents for minor modifications of known medicines.”
In a televised interview, Ranjit Shahani, vice chairman of Novartis’s Indian subsidiary, said that India would suffer as a result of the ruling because companies like Novartis would invest less money in research there. 'We will continue with our investments in India, even though cautiously,' he said. 'We hope that the ecosystem for intellectual property in the country improves.'"

Corporations by the rules that set them up care only for profit.  If their decisions kill many people, it is no concern to the corporation. But corporations are simply constructs created by laws.  These can be changed.  Rules can be added to say that human welfare must account for some part of corporate decision making, over profit.  It can be done.

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