Dangerous AIDS Policy. Drug patents are not the problem

Monday, December 01, 2008 

By Thompson Ayodele 

Thomson AyodeleWriting in today’s Wall Street Journal today, Ayodele contends that "Twenty-five years after the disease was first discovered, AIDS continues to claim around two million lives each year. As an African, I’ve witnessed the suffering first-hand. My home region of sub-Saharan Africa has 12% of the world’s population, but accounts for two-thirds of those infected with AIDS and 75% of all AIDS-related deaths."

While urging all not to be fixated on price of antiretroviral therapy, whose prices have drastically been reduced, Ayodele knows where exactly to lay blame on the worsening pandemic.

"The trade policies of African governments often make the AIDS problem worse. Generic drugs imported into Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are subject to a 10% tariff. The rate jumps to 40% in Sierra Leone, and to 50% in Kenya. Nigeria charges an import tariff of up to 39%."

Read the full article here