I hope this email finds you in a great health
I'm following with great interest the global campaign launched by MSF calling on pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to lower the price of its anti-tuberculosis medicine Bedaquiline to nearly its half for those who need the medicine. [*see note below]
The thing about Bedaquiline is that it's used for Multi-drug Resistance TB, which is not the regular TB, it's the vicious type where the bacterium has enhanced its defenses, and humans are at risk of losing a century-effort of combating TB if MDR TB is on the global stage!
Although, Anti-Microbial Resistance is a global issue, the burden of such phenomenon is lying heavily on low and middle income countries; where the very high price of Bedaquiline is off limits and also where the TB burden is the highest!
As a scientist myself I believe in the importance of R&D. intellectual property and patencies are not only the rights of the manufacturer but also, they are tools to sustain R&D on so many levels. However, we are facing the ethical dilemma of protecting millions of lives and prevent a threat to the health of all human beings which is Anti-Microbial Resistance and particularly MDR TB. So maybe (J&J) might revisit the noble act of Jonas Salk who refused to patent his newly-developed Salk vaccine, and consequently saved millions of lives and prevented disability to many generations. I'm not saying they will do the same, but at least to consider some feasibility for low and middle income countries.
We are no longer live on separate islands, everything is connected and globalization has made this world a very small one. And always remember that microorganisms never acknowledge borders.
Dr. Noha Salah
Public Health Specialist
HIFA profile: Noha Salah (MBBCh, FETP, MPH) is a motivated and experienced public health professional with over 5 years expertise in the fields of public health, preventive medicine, social medicine, epidemiology and health policy. Noha has over 8 years experience as a qualified physician/ paediatrician in the areas of child's health, women's and maternal health in addition to 12 years experience in the domains of human development, humanitarian aids of vulnerable groups and global health as a volunteer medical student. Email: Noha.salah.abdelsamie AT gmail.com
[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): For discussion of issues relating to access to medicines, I recommend the E-DRUG forum: http://lists.healthnet.org/mailman/listinfo/e-drug ]