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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

They Need Us More Than We Need Them

I know this is crossing over from my previous post in my blog about ASOs, but I think it applies to a lot of things. First off, I would like to apply it to Big Pharma. I just finished reading this article about how India is beginning clinical trials on an HIV vaccine - preventative.

Why do you think it is taking India to generate this? Do Amerikans not have the potential? The money? The technology? NO! Amerikans are too busy trying to market off of the AIDS pandemic in whatever way they can. Take for instance all of the websites and magazines that currently suck up Big Pharma advertising dollars.

If AIDS was stopped by a vaccine, then who would those companies have left to market to after a few generations? How would these websites - ones that are so bold and obvious to have medications as part of their name while claiming to be "HIV owned and operated", generate their fortunes? Let us face it, very few people are doing what they are doing in the name of HIV/AIDS for truly altruistic reasons.

Ladies and Gentleman, let us take back our power. We have been giving away our power and our voices away to interests that obviously conflict with our agenda: to end AIDS, to end homophobia, to end classism, to end racism, and to end the war on poverty. Let us question the power that WE have given to the organizations, companies, websites, and individuals that claim to represent us. Let us call them to the task that they have been charged with. If we see something improper it is our responsibility to speak out and speak up.

Remember: Silence ='s Death

30 Comments:

At Tue Jul 19, 03:10:00 PM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ronnie sweetie,

r u talkin about a website i most often frequent? i agree though ... these pharma companies do not have much incentive to find an hiv vaccine or cure. else, they'll go out of business.

b.a.

 
At Tue Jul 19, 09:32:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger ronnie said...

I'm not referencing any particular website, company, ASO, organization, or CBO. What I am saying though can apply to almost any and all of them. There are very few of these left that have put personal interest aside for the purely altruistic motive of simply helping others.

 
At Tue Jul 19, 11:48:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger Matty the Damned said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Tue Jul 19, 11:52:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger Matty the Damned said...

Well Sister Ronnie, it seems that a couple of people at AIDSMEDS don't agree with your take on this!

Not to worry, the vast majority of the members of AIDSMEDS (of which I am one) are smart enough to appreciate a well reasoned and intelligent argument when we see one.

Congratulations on drawing First Blood for the Spin Cycle!

MtD

 
At Wed Jul 20, 02:21:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish i could agree that greed is impeding a vaccine but i think greed is probably doing the opposite, driving the research. an aids vaccine would have a potential market of 6 billion people (the whole world), and every new baby born thereafter. an analogous argument would be that big pharma is suppressing a cure for the common cold so it can sell cold medicines. probably not. unfortunately, in my opinion, lack of scientific solutions is what is holding up the cure for AIDS and the common cold.

 
At Wed Jul 20, 02:28:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that the US or the EU aren't involved in searching for a vaccine for HIV is naive. At least do your homework. Your arguments that everyone in "Amerika" is only interested in greed and that somehow folks in India or China (or substitute any other developing nation) is in it for the good of mankind, is flawed to its very core. India and China are just as interested in profits as are Americans, Australians, etc... Do you honestly think that if their countries discovered and marketed an HIV drug that they would sell it for much less than current drugs are sold for in the US? Seriously, do your homework and cite evidence and proof for your theories.

This tired little argument that pharmas are responsible for everything wrong in the world is silly and immature. There are a lot of reasons for why the world is fucked up, of which pharma is just one component.

 
At Wed Jul 20, 03:14:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger ronnie said...

Let me better state my arguement:

Vaccines are costly to produce and yeild little profits.

Take for instance, the flu vaccine. Each year, although the demand gets higher and higher, less is produced because there is so little money to be made. In the US we nearly had a shortage two straight years in a row.

Now, if you read the article, the vaccine is being developed by the Indian Government. They want to be able to vaccinate their populations from HIV because they want to someday see a world without HIV. And, quite frankly, I never will, because as long as I'm alive, that world won't exist. But, I would like to think that after my passing, that world might exist.

The vaccine, even if proven highly effective, will not get widely used. In the US, for instance, the radical right founded and funded by the Christian evangelicals won't allow their children or themselves to get it. To allow a vaccine against an STD that is supposed to be God's wrath would be encouraging all things evil.

You are right, though, Big Pharma is only to blame for some things wrong with this world. Capitalism takes the biggest share.

 
At Wed Jul 20, 03:14:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Luis Blasini said...

Thanks for the kind words. I like your site, too. It's kooky.

 
At Wed Jul 20, 03:15:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come now. This is not so much an argument as it is an opinion filled with empty soundbites. Ronnie is a very young man whose opinions have been shaped by little more than text books and rallies at his student union. The only thing he has proven here is that he is shockingly naive about the world. Idealism is a beautiful thing, provided that individuals truly now how to support their words and transform them into action.

 
At Wed Jul 20, 03:24:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Take for instance, the flu vaccine. Each year, although the demand gets higher and higher, less is produced because there is so little money to be made. In the US we nearly had a shortage two straight years in a row."

I challenge this assesment and will await documentation supporting it. The reason for the flu vaccine shortage, during the 2005/2005 flu season, was because of the potential contamination of approximately 48 million doses produced by Chiron. I eagerly await evidence to support this statement, along with the other polemical comments raised in his response.

jj

 
At Wed Jul 20, 03:35:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger ronnie said...

You are 100% correct - one of the reasons for the flu vaccine shortage was the contamination of millions of doses.

The question that you didn't bother to ask yourself is - in a country with 290 million people, why does the contamination of 48 million doses cause a shortage?

For the answer to that question and for further evidence supporting my position on vaccines, please see:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_10/004936.php

 
At Wed Jul 20, 03:37:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger ronnie said...

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com
/archives
/individual
/2004_10/004936.php

 
At Wed Jul 20, 04:18:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Number of people living with HIV in the world: 40 million.

Number of people living with active hepatitis B virus infection in the world: 300 million.

Talk about an incredible market of people with hepatitis B! And wouldn't you know it, drug companies have developed both treatments and vaccines against hepatitis B. In fact, one of the same companies (Glaxo) producing a treatment (Epivir-HBV) also produces a vaccine (Twinrix). So they're making money on both ends of the spectrum.

Isn't it possible that the same could hold true for HIV? That treatments as well as vaccines will be highly profitable? It doesn't look as if the drug companies are exactly turned off by the development and availability of vaccines. Over the past year, two new treatments were approved for the treatment of hepatitis B with several more on the way.

Just one example of the room available for both vaccines and treatments in the world.

 
At Wed Jul 20, 04:20:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Matty the Damned said...

It's great to see that Anonymous has so much to say because that is exactly our intention in this blog.

This is about opening a debate on the crucial issues facing HIV positive people; a debate that may not be had easily in other places.

MtD

 
At Wed Jul 20, 04:56:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe this debate could be had anywhere. And I don't really find it that crucial. We've been having this debate since the beginning of time. Nothing new here. Big bad pharma is sitting on a cure for HIV. Amerika is killing all of the poor people in the world. The Chinese are such sweet and innocent people (funny that the Chinese people don't think so). They and perhaps India are the only people looking for a cure. And they will sell it for no-profit.

Yes, we've heard it all before.

 
At Wed Jul 20, 05:08:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Matty the Damned said...

And guess what pissant - you're gonna hear it all again!

MtD

 
At Wed Jul 20, 05:24:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy someone is taking this all just a little too personal.



Too bad. There was so much promise here.

 
At Wed Jul 20, 06:02:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Capitalism takes the biggest share."

If you are against Capitalism, what economic/political system would you suggest? Communism? Socialism (which is nothing but a gentler form of capitalism....as noted by the high prices European companies charge for HIV drugs).

I thought we had finally proved once and for all, Communism doesn't work. You are not only poorer, you're more repressed. Do we have go through this shit all over again for the youngins who doesn't know what it's like to see the fall of communism and how many people despised living under those systems?

 
At Wed Jul 20, 08:31:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Bucko said...

We started this blog to open a constructive dialog, and we seem to have struck a few nerves. I'll be posting more on all this shortly.

Please keep posting your observations- they all are meaningful to us. But reconsider the whole "Anonymous" thing. Blind man's bluff is a tired children's game.

Bisous,
B

 
At Wed Jul 20, 09:33:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you just turn off the Anonymous option, if you don't want to receive Anonymous responses?

 
At Wed Jul 20, 10:15:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Bucko said...

We welcome all feedback. It's just as easy to cut a couple of eye holes on your mask as to wear a hood, that's all.

Again, please respond...

 
At Wed Jul 20, 10:17:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Matty the Damned said...

Now Sister Bucko, if the dear little lamb wants to comment anonymously he, she or it should be allowed to do so. ;)

Of course people with names are taken much more seriously but . . .

 
At Thu Jul 21, 12:45:00 PM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

matty, you always were full of shit

 
At Thu Jul 21, 01:33:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger Matty the Damned said...

matty, you always were full of shit

Ah, that Wildean wit will take you far. You should write that one down and tell it at parties.

MtD

 
At Thu Jul 21, 01:37:00 PM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually I do,,,believe me...it gets me far....considering those who know you

 
At Thu Jul 21, 01:42:00 PM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh damn,,,I lost the napkin,,,can you repeat the Oscar Wilde quote...........

 
At Thu Jul 21, 01:48:00 PM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though it gets hot, I personally like a hefty bag with a few holes cut in it....so hard to get paper these days

 
At Thu Jul 21, 03:10:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger Matty the Damned said...

oh damn,,,I lost the napkin,,,can you repeat the Oscar Wilde quote...........

actually I do,,,believe me...it gets me far....considering those who know you

Hi ya Philly, Long time no hear!

Still trolling around the 'net hey? If you're looking for your napkin you probably dropped it in your Mai-Tai - how many's that been this evening?

Oh, by the way do give my best regards to Kramer. I admire that man, he puts up with so much. Still until death do you part right?

Kisses,
MtD

 
At Fri Jul 22, 12:54:00 PM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone explain what exactly it was that Ronnie did wrong? Hypothetically, lets say he WAS wrong and just trying to "agitate" as someone put it.....well, dont you think you were feeding into it by responding the way you did?

Have a nice day.

 
At Tue Jul 26, 12:38:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps people were feeding into it, but can you blame them? Why is people are allowed to say anything they want and not expected to suffer the consequences of their actions/statements? You say it, you own it. If you don't like the way people responded to his filth, then oh well, that's your right. But to say that somehow sweet little innocent Ronnie was harmed because folks question his baseless theories and asked for evidence and support? Oh my, the horror of it all. How can they be sooooooo cruel.

It's time Ronnie is treated like an adult. He wants to come to aidsmeds talking about needing money and bashing his local ASOs. Fine. People were supportive. But then once it became clear that he is a fool, people treated him the way he should have been treated. Like an adult, who has a big mouth with no substance.

 

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