Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Incentives for AIDS research?

In a dismaying but not altogether surprising article, the Orange County Register recently reported that drug companies are not actively researching for a vaccine for the AIDS virus. The companies instead are waiting for our federal government to create one and then will use their discovery for profit. http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/healthscience/healthfitness/article_915081.php

This from the federal chief of AIDS research...
" 'It's not going to be made by a company,' Tramont said. 'They're dropping out like flies because there's no real incentive for them to do it. We have to do it...if it works, they won't have to make that big investment. And they can make it and sell it and make a profit,' he said."

Sometimes I hear things--like this--that make me want to crawl under the covers and not come out until people can be more human... at least, more compassionate. But then, I would never get anything done.

With the AIDS and HIV viruses killing millions of pe
ople every year, US drug companies are refusing to pursue a vaccine because it would take too long before turning a profit. Even with all of the research and work already done, we are not close to an effective cure. There are currently 30 vaccine candidates being tested in 19 different countries, but US companies are waiting for a more lucrative time to put their efforts forth.

To give our federal government due credit, we have been searching for a cure on the national level for some time. But when a disease is responsible for millions of deaths per year, and on an exponential scale at that, should it not be everyone's responsibility? Does money always hav
e to be the driving factor? Am I wasting my time being frustrated with companies' fiscal selfishness???

At risk of sounding like a cheesy sponsor commercial... posted here is a picture of Lisa Swartbooi. I met this beautiful AIDS-infected little girl in Africa in 2004. I changed her diapers and watc
hed her sneeze blood. When I go back in July, she will likely be dead.

Do we need more motive than this?


Blogger Pastorius said...

God bless you for trying to help.

1:59 AM  

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