Well how do you find out whether pricing at cost will bring them into the budget of most Africans?
You cant force a multinational company to produce more, quite the contrary. If they move out of the country unemployment will result.
Another idea to reduce the price by subsidising the drug has problems. Firstly, the amount of subsidy has to be huge. Many are very poor and can not afford even what seems like very cheap to us. The government can never provide that much subsidy which can make the price fall to, say to 10 pence. Besides the amount of subsidy has to be the same throughout the continent or smuggling will result. This is quite a disincentive for the government.
Africans have huge families, with few earning members. They cant buy medicine for one to delay his or her death and force others to suffer from malnutrition or death from lack of food. So the socially desirable price is very low.
i think more than AIDS, its the regimes that's affecting the productivity of Africans. Imagine running from one camp to another for life, as it is happening in Darfur, Ethiopia and elsewhere. Their incomes are so less, that they cant even buy the subsidized rice. And the aid given by EU has faced som hassles early this year. countries like nigeria (where the prob of AIDS exists as in any other african country) have so much oil, that their PCI can shoot up and beat India's or China's any given day, provided they are utilized. The payments are directed to the Swiss accounts of the dictator rather.
Also, another common problem is the looting by guerillas and soldiers, and they rape the locals before leaving. Its true, watch BBC continuosly for proof. Imagine a 13 yr old gal being raped, and there's a limit to the extension of her life (most of the cops have AIDS, no need to mention). AIDS has no medicine as of now, and the life savings drugs are costly. To supply them free (thats the only possible way they can afford them) means changing Pfizer Inc. to Pfizer Charitable Trust. The problem in Africa cannot be solved by just distributing free medicines. What they need most is some urgent regime changes.
I agree. Law and order situation must improve in such countries.
I was wondering, what do you think are the likely economic effects of USA attacking Iran (if they do)?
Rising oil prices - even more so than currently. Increased fear of terrorism leading to increased volatility on the stock market. Probable economic downturn for the less stable economies.
most of you seem to forget one of the most important problems associated with generic drugs, even if their production was to be paid for by governments so that pharmaceutical companies wouldn't be making a loss..
arbitrage..how would you prevent people from getting drugs for free in uganda, flying to the US or europe and selling them with huge profits? there's two pre-requisites for price discrimination - the drug market does have its required (geographical) segmentation, but it does not fulfil the other requisite - a tool to discourage discount buyers from becoming resellers and thus competitors.
I guess the United Nations could take a more active role. If they established an international police force spread throughout the world it might benefit. I am assuming that the governments in such countries are either unwilling or unable to improve the law and order situation (maybe because it is against their interest). However such a police force may not be accepted by the government of such countries. If so, there is no alternative I m afraid. The government must do something. The UN can put pressure on them by threatening with an embargo for instance.
That is the main problem. But there isn't any alternative.
wait till they die of AIDS/famine and then re-colonize africa, finally bringing some order over there.
[we don't have to do anything - the pope, the greatest mass murderer ever, who beats easily the likes of hitler, will take care of it]