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The American Prospect: Giuliani's Awful Record on HIV/AIDS

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:39 AM
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The American Prospect: Giuliani's Awful Record on HIV/AIDS
Giuliani's Awful Record on HIV/AIDS

One of Giuliani's health care advisors recently decried a plan to offer cheaper HIV/AIDS drugs in developing countries. It's a good opportunity to ask: What would U.S. AIDS policy look like in a Giuliani administration?

Andrew Green | November 15, 2007 | web only

Sally Pipes serves as president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank that draws some of its funding from pharmaceutical companies. Given that bit of back story, imagine her distress when the Thai government issued "compulsory patents" to its domestic drug manufacturers at the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) to copy and reproduce formulas for two antiretroviral drugs.

Spurred to action, Pipes produced an alarmist screed in The Hill last month charging that the Thai government rejected offers for cheaper antiretrovirals and issued the patents primarily to enrich its cronies at the GPO. In the op-ed, she also takes time to wag her finger at Rep. Tom Allen, Sen. Sherrod Brown, and former President Bill Clinton, who have publicly applauded the Thai government's action. Never mind that Thai officials acted completely within the bounds of international law and that their actions will likely make antiretrovirals available to thousands more HIV/AIDS patients.

The point of Pipes' op-ed is to champion the importance of intellectual property rights and minor corporate profits over cheap, effective antiretroviral treatment in the form of generic drugs. She just buries the callousness in hysteria and conjecture.

Of course it's unfortunate but not surprising that Pipes, a free-market doctrinaire, would produce this piece. And were she just running a think tank with pharmaceutical funding, it could be read as a shill piece and dismissed. But there's a bit more to Pipes' biography: She is also a health-care adviser to Rudy Giuliani, the leading Republican candidate for president. (No relation to foreign-policy adviser Daniel Pipes.) Suddenly her op-ed is not so much ridiculous, as frightening.

When she was appointed earlier this summer, Pipes seemed a natural fit for the Giuliani health-care team, which consists primarily of domestically focused, consumer-driven health-care proponents. Pipes had already achieved some notoriety criticizing the state-level health-insurance mandates and regulations backed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts. Thus, her appointment had the benefit of telegraphing a distinction between Giuliani and his main opponent to health-care experts and policy wonks.

And that's about where her significance to this election cycle stopped before her Hill op-ed. Save for taking a few more shots at Romney and popping up occasionally to cheerlead for Giuliani, Pipes had drawn little other attention. With a candidate who is reticent to outline any specific health-care policies, it seemed that she (and the rest of Giuliani's health-care squad) would hang out on the campaign sidelines.

It's unfortunate that she didn't stay there. Her op-ed can be read both as a signal that her role is expanding and as a preview of the HIV/AIDS policy she is encouraging Giuliani to adopt, specifically, one without regard for the immediate need for as many cheap generic antiretrovirals as possible. That in itself is a cause for concern. The real crisis, though, is that Giuliani might actually be receptive to her arguments. ......(more)

The complete piece is at:

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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:47 AM
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1. and his vulture contributors who steal aids foreign aid from 3rd world countries >Link>>
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 09:49 AM by sam sarrha
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