Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech Government The Almighty Buck Politics Science

Indonesia Stops Sharing Avian Virus Samples 243

Posted by kdawson
from the intellectual-property-flu dept.
dankrabach writes "Indonesia has apparently decided to play the IP game, with the world's health at stake. The country, one of the hardest-hit by avian flu, has stopped submitting virus samples to the World Health Organization, and is negotiating to sell them to an American drug company that makes the vaccine. They feel slighted when they give away such samples, but then cannot afford the patented vaccines. Logical to me, given the rules of the game; however, can't we come up with some GPL'ish license to free any product based on this data?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Indonesia Stops Sharing Avian Virus Samples

Comments Filter:
  • Pirates! (Score:5, Funny)

    by drewzhrodague (606182) <<drew> <at> <zhrodague.net>> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:51PM (#17937108) Homepage Journal
    Looks like we're going to have to wait for the pirates to bring a few hundred million copies over through the airports, wide-open borders, by sea, or other means. Couldn't they have put some DRM into this?

    Seriously can't wait to get my copies!
  • Avian Flu (Score:4, Insightful)

    by celardore (844933) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:54PM (#17937132)
    I live near where a recent 'outbreak' of Avian Flu has occurred in England. Forgive me for perhaps not seeing the bigger picture, but what's the big deal? regular flu kills more people every winter in the UK alone than Avian Flu has the world over - ever. AFAIK anyway.

    • Re:Avian Flu (Score:5, Informative)

      by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:58PM (#17937198) Homepage
      We're waiting for the eventual mutation that will allow Avian Flu to spread through the air from person to person. So far it can't do that. So far, to get Avian Flu a person needs to eat or have contact with infected birds. Once it goes airborne, though, you will see Avian Flu killing a lot more people than the regular flu does. We're trying to figure out an effective therapeutic regimen before that happens.
      • by PingSpike (947548)
        Maybe you're waiting for that. I'm still waiting for my impending SARS death. I was promised that doom scenario first.
        • by MightyYar (622222)
          I know that you are at least partly being ironic, but South Park said it best about SARS:
          "Stanley, listen to me. I have SARS. There's only a ninety-eight percent chance that I will live."

          Bird flu currently seems much deadlier, as more than half of the humans infected have died.
          • Re:Avian Flu (Score:4, Informative)

            by tjwhaynes (114792) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:00PM (#17938062)

            Bird flu currently seems much deadlier, as more than half of the humans infected have died.

            Be careful - I'd think about rewording that to "Bird flu currently seems much deadlier, as more than half of the humans known to be infected have died". We really don't have a good idea of how many people have been infected - we have a biased sample of the worst cases being reported (it doesn't get much worse than being dead).

            That's not to say that Avian Flu isn't deadly - it is. It kills a significant fraction of the infected population. I suspect that the mortality rate is closer to 10% than 60% though when it gets exposed to a wider audience. I just hope we have an effective treatment (vaccine or medication) by that point.

            Cheers,
            Toby Haynes

      • by Pedrito (94783)
        So far, to get Avian Flu a person needs to eat or have contact with infected birds. Once it goes airborne, though, you will see Avian Flu killing a lot more people than the regular flu does.

        This is somewhat correct. It has not become an airborne contagion yet, but it won't necessarily become one either. That's just a roll of the dice. It requires a mutation to become airborne. Furthermore, you're assuming that the airborne version will be deadly. It probably would be pretty deadly (though likely, and very
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by FrenchSilk (847696)
          You are also somewhat correct. All influenza viruses have the same ability to be transported through the air. That is, they are all "airborne", as you say. I think what you are tying to say is that H5N1 is not yet easily contracted by humans by inhaling the airborne virus. Nor do humans who are sick with H5N1 normally aerolsize and expel the virus. This is because it binds lower in the human respiratory track than seasonal influenza viruses do and therefore it is not readily spread by coughing or sneez
      • >>So far, to get Avian Flu a person needs to eat or have contact
        >>with infected birds.
        Largely correct. But, I don't think the flu virus is heat-stable. The danger lies in the food processing stage, rather than eating.
    • I live near where a recent 'outbreak' of Avian Flu has occurred in England. Forgive me for perhaps not seeing the bigger picture, but what's the big deal? regular flu kills more people every winter in the UK alone than Avian Flu has the world over - ever. AFAIK anyway.

      I think that Wikipedia might [wikipedia.org] have a good answer on this:

      In almost all cases, those infected with H5N1 had extensive physical contact with infected birds. Still, around 60% of humans known to have been infected with the current Asian strain o

      • by Pecisk (688001)
        I still see it as fear mongering. Let me explain (warning: non-specialist opinion ahead).

        Yes, Asian strain killed 60% of people it got to (well, we actually don't know HOW much people it got and how much didn't fall ill, but these are only details). But there is one thing which grab my attention. Current strain is definitely powerful. Yes, it can find some fitting way to mutate with some other flu virus, and then bum, it is easy transferable and that stuff. BUT what isn't said that this strain isn't very st
    • by Sneftel (15416) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @02:08PM (#17937362)
      The penguin lobby is pretty powerful here.
    • by daeg (828071)
      You're obviously not thinking of the Children and Elderly and the Poor who will surely die a horrible, painful, useless death due to this strain of Flu.

      The media ran out of missing attractive white women and immigrant children and you can only cover so many mountain climber deaths per year.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NSIM (953498)

      I live near where a recent 'outbreak' of Avian Flu has occurred in England. Forgive me for perhaps not seeing the bigger picture, but what's the big deal? regular flu kills more people every winter in the UK alone than Avian Flu has the world over - ever. AFAIK anyway.

      To understand the concern around H5N1 you need to consider two things:
      1. Mortality rate - H5N1 has a very high mortality rate, something like 60% of the people who get it, die! Regular flu has a mortality rate much much lower (several ord

    • by compro01 (777531)
      look up "Spanish flu". with the recent study of the virus, it is currently suspected that it was an avian flu that mutated and became human-to-human transmissible. and also, it didn't originate in Spain. it came from east Asia, most likely China.

      spanish flu killed about 50 to 100 million people back in 1918. imagine how many it would kill with modern transportation allowing to to spread much further and faster.
      • One thing people do not consider is surge capacity.

        We live in a society with instant food, instant gasoline, etc.

        When an event like a hurricane, blizzard, or flu epidemic comes along, you see the side effects of this VERY thin inventory.

        My point is that hospitals can give very good care. But ONLY when .001% of the population is sick. If 10% of the population is sick (and doctors and nurses are dying at 20% rates and so some are refusing to come to work and the ones that want to can't get gasoline for thei
    • I live near where a recent 'outbreak' of Avian Flu has occurred in England. Forgive me for perhaps not seeing the bigger picture, but what's the big deal?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu [wikipedia.org]

      perhaps that page may enlighten you. The problem with flu is it mutates and this is one which once infected 60% of the people so far have died and its hard to get so far.

      It is extremely likely that this strain of flu will kill millions once it mutates into form that is passed between humans.

      thats the big deal. This is quite likely to kill you.

    • by forkazoo (138186)

      I live near where a recent 'outbreak' of Avian Flu has occurred in England. Forgive me for perhaps not seeing the bigger picture, but what's the big deal? regular flu kills more people every winter in the UK alone than Avian Flu has the world over - ever. AFAIK anyway.

      Ummm... 1918 Influenza was avian. (Or, at least, probably avian.) It probably killed more people than regular flu does in one country in a single winter. Of course, population density is much higher now, so 1918 would probably have a much

    • by kabocox (199019)
      I live near where a recent 'outbreak' of Avian Flu has occurred in England. Forgive me for perhaps not seeing the bigger picture, but what's the big deal? regular flu kills more people every winter in the UK alone than Avian Flu has the world over - ever. AFAIK anyway.

      You know I had to do some research. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr54/nvsr54_19 .pdf [cdc.gov]
      This is US CDC data for Death rates for 2004. I don't know what half these things are, but the end number is the raw count of deaths.

      33,464 Sept
      • by celardore (844933)
        Interesting reply to my post, thanks.

        What your figures suggest that is out of 1,765,505 deaths, 61,472 are influenza and pneumonia related. So we're talking about 3.5% there.

        That's the most relevant thing I worked out from your post, and I had to do it myself.
  • Option 2 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dorsai65 (804760) <dkmerriman@gmaCHICAGOil.com minus city> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:54PM (#17937136) Homepage Journal
    Maybe make pricing inversely proportional to the number of samples provided?
  • There is a shared cost for having this data and not giving it away for free ensures that they will have money to buy the vaccine that came from their efforts to collect the samples.
    This is the right thing for 3rd world countries to do. Charge for the services they provide and compete in the marketplace rather than lining up for the soup kitchen.
  • by arkham6 (24514) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:56PM (#17937166)
    Instead of "Indonesia has apparently decided to play the IP game, with the world's health at stake.", you could easily say "American Drug company decided to play the IP game, with Indonesia's health at stake."

    I'd be pissed too if i was indonesia.
  • but it would only be beneficial to put a viral license (as it were) on this information if hobbyists and volunteers had the same drug synthesizing and gene sequencing abilities as major pharma/bio companies. However, after a few more generations of Moore's Law, maybe hobbyists and volunteers could do drug synthesis and gene sequencing completely in a virtual environment? Then, a GPL license would make sense.

    Caveat: I hate to sound like a G. W. Republican, but such software would also make it easy to desig

    • by compro01 (777531)
      but such software would also make it easy to design bioweapons.

      and it would also make it easy to develop cures for said bioweapons.
  • No net change (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @02:05PM (#17937324)
    Considering the amounts of money involved, I suspect the only thing that is going to change is that American drug companies will send their own people into the field in Indonesia to collect their own samples.
    • by sapgau (413511)
      You are implying that the government of Indonesia would allow that.
      Funny how we think we can go to developing countries and do as we please.
      But we couldn't think of it the other way. Do you know how hard it is to get a US visa?

    • by VJ42 (860241)
      And if Indonesia denies them Visas?
    • Assuming, of course, that they can get a visa, especially after having to apply for one and the immigration officer easily being able to ask what the purpose of their visit is. Oh, and that trifling matter of getting that infectious biohazard safely and legally out of Indonesia, something they won't be all that keen on approving.
  • What are you, some kind of commie, pinko, free-market hating anti-American scumbags? This is the free market we're talking about, it's power is Divine and it can do no wrong. Sharing things is bad, we should be charging for everything. I mean, if these Avian Virus samples aren't privately owned, we might be facing the dreaded Tragedy of the Commons here! Sharing of scientific data is socialism, plain and simple, and it goes against everything America stands for: profit at the expense of all else.

    Seriously,
    • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:23PM (#17938402)
      A vaccine is hard to make.
      A vaccine is expensive to make.

      If there's no profit, there's no incentive.
      If there's no funding, there's no resources.

      Tragic, but you don't want to do the work - no matter how helpful - if it doesn't put food on your table and a movie on your TV.
      Sure you can volunteer a bit, but only if it doesn't harm your personal bottom line.

      What are YOU doing to prepare the Avian Flu vaccine? Thought so.
      In the long-shot chance you _are_ working on an Avian Flu vaccine, are you doing it for free? Thought so.

      Yes, it makes sense for drug companies to charge a fortune for the Avian Flu vaccine - it will cost them a fortune to create it.
      Yes, it makes sense for Indonesia to make arrangements to assure they get the vaccine (either thru barter or billing).
      Yes, it sounds perverse to sell the disease to buy the cure.
      Welcome to the real world.
      You don't cure a pandemic for free.

      You got a better idea?
      • This is exactly the scenario for which I'm paying taxes. I'm already gainfully employed, and there are a good chunk of people who are a lot better than me at creating vaccines. Taxes are supposed to be transferred from me (who is offering a service that is in immediate demand) to someone who is offering a service with delayed demand. Instead, what are we paying taxes for? Some dumb ass bridge to nowhere. Statues of politicians who ought to be in prison. Pork that reaches hundreds of billions of dollars in t
        • make every politician pay for pork out of his own pocket. I'm sure that suddenly there'll be a couple of billion dollars left over from my (and yours and everybody elses) taxes to fund some serious research into a bird-flu vaccine.
          Nope, you'll see politicians voting themselves multi-million-dollar salaries, and then getting good PR from 'donating 99% of their income to community development projects.'
      • Very well put. Although, fair warning: people will exaggerate what you said to make it look like you claimed no one ever does anything unless there's a monetary gain behind it, which is neither true, nor necessary for your claim. People will certainly work for free in some cases, but is it always enough for these epidemics? And when it's not, how do you get them to? There's the rub.
      • You got a better idea?

        But of course.

        It is called "publicly funded research". People pay taxes, out of which academia is funded, whereby researchers work for the public good developing cures and technologies. (Note also that you managed to repeat the ever-popular "free-market" fundamentalist zealot lie that there is "no incentive without profit", to which one can only respond with inquiries about the size of Albert Einstein's castle and the number of bedrooms in his 300-footer 'yacht', surely?)

        Then, sin

      • You got a better idea?

        Sure.

        Ask someone with almost unlimited money who cares about public health, especially in third world countries, to fund development of a vaccine.

        Anyone come to mind?
      • "What are YOU doing to prepare the Avian Flu vaccine?"

        Well I'm willing to bet that as with most drugs, my taxes paid for the initial research and development which was then given to a pharma company to develop further. Not to mention various tax breaks and other subsudies that large corporations enjoy on MY behalf. The government is me and you, americans would do better to realize that. Im fully behind the government doing all pharma research as then we would have less penis pills and more FREE drugs that i

  • by mblase (200735) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @02:09PM (#17937386)
    ...only outlaws will have viruses.

    Hey, I actually like the sound of that.
  • that they have to resort to this, but I can understand their frustration. On the other hand, should a real outbreak ever occur, they are the ones most likely to rely on major international support, and under current forecasts, an outbreak is most likely to occur in the asian arena anyway. i wonder if they would have tried to "sell" the scientific data on the earthquake/tsunami (not that those weren't detectable from far away, but it's a conceptual exercise) that hit them the hardest...or "sell" the geophy
  • by Panaqqa (927615) * on Thursday February 08, 2007 @02:10PM (#17937406) Homepage
    I can really see why they feel slighted - after all, collection of samples for the WHO is not a process without its costs and hazards. It's not like they're collecting bread mold or something.

    Perhaps approaching the WHO looking for some form of compensation for sample collection could be attempted. Perhaps it already has been. But anyone who has dealt with a global scale NGO, especially a UN agency, knows that the bureaucracy involved makes even the most overburdened of national government bureaucracies look like a model of efficiency.

    Still, though, I have to wonder about the claims that Indonesia [cia.gov] cannot afford to purchase the vaccines. Indonesia is one of the most populous countries in the world, and seems more than able to afford many of the trappings of a modern industrialized nation. Their GDP is close to a trillion dollars US. Is it possible that a certain amount of their stand on this issue is posturing? Or to the benefit of one particular agency or department of their government? Follow the money to its destination and more would begin to be clear.
    • by danpsmith (922127)

      I can really see why they feel slighted - after all, collection of samples for the WHO is not a process without its costs and hazards. It's not like they're collecting bread mold or something.

      What are you talking about? Collecting samples for the Who is a bargain, the best they've ever had!

  • .... While I understand that viruses can mutate, is there anything special or unique about the strains in Indonesia that makes them (potentially) valuable?
  • Compare and contrast (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe@joe-baldwi[ ]et ['n.n' in gap]> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @02:18PM (#17937522) Homepage Journal
    From the summary:

    They feel slighted when they give away such samples, but then cannot afford the patented vaccines.

    And the Shah of Iran in 1973, just before the oil crisis:

    "Of course [the world price of oil] is going to rise," the Shah told the New York Times in 1973. "Certainly! And how...; You [Western nations] increased the price of wheat you sell us by 300%, and the same for sugar and cement...; You buy our crude oil and sell it back to us, redefined as petrochemicals, at a hundred times the price you've paid to us...; It's only fair that, from now on, you should pay more for oil. Let's say ten times more."

    No real point. Just found the similarities interesting.
  • No. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pendersempai (625351) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @02:42PM (#17937828)
    From the summary:

    however, can't we come up with some GPL-ish license to free any product based on this data?

    I doubt it. The GPL works because individual programmers receive some sort of personal, non-monetary benefit from contributing to a GPL project -- the reputation, the joy of coding, etc. No similar incentive exists for drug companies to engage in costly research without the proceeds that come from patents. The GPL also works because for-profit players have an incentive to give back their own coding: so that it can be incorporated into the code tree and not require them to reimplement it every time a new version comes out. Again, there is no analogous market force to compel drug companies to give back changes, or even to make the changes in the first place. Finally, the GPL is largely enforceable because it is usually very straightforward to ascertain whether GPL'ed code is in fact being used in violation of the GPL: the software company cannot destroy the evidence or allow it to decay because they need to keep the source code to continue development. I imagine that it is not so easy to determine whether a particular medical advance was inspired by pseudo-GPL'ed samples.

    It seems to me that that country's approach is fair and effective. Alternatively they might consider contractually binding recipients of their samples to offer them the resulting patented medication at cost.

  • This seems completely fair.

    Big Businesses (not just american) basically rip off ignorant people and take advantage of them to make outsized profits.

    We are under a transition where a lot of third world countries are becoming aware of the way they have been abused and want to charge a fair price based on the fact that they must pay for the vaccine, or pay for the "tires" made from their oil, or pay for the computer made from their copper, etc.

    Socialists would say some magical government entity would balance t
  • by Bastian (66383) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @02:53PM (#17937976)

    can't we come up with some GPL'ish license to free any product based on this data?"


    No. Drug companies don't play games like this. None will sink money into developing a vaccine based on a virus sample if they cannot be granted exclusive rights to produce that vaccine for a period of time. They'll go spend their R&D dollars on fighting developing some other drug that they can use to rake in big stinking piles of cash instead.

    That's the way capitalism works - when people decide what to invest in, they rarely look at putting money behind something that they realize is not likely to give them a large return out of the goodness of their hearts. They figure out what's going to make them the most money. The market is not known for rewarding altruism. As a result, any drug company that wants to continue to exist as a drug company is going to do very little in the way of charity research, and instead do the kind of stuff that attracts capital.

    The only way we're going to get drug research without patent protection is to start some sort of government agency whose primary purpose is to do this stuff. But good luck getting that to happen (in the US, anyway) voters don't have a history of being in favor of things like this, and the drug industry would viciously lobby against any sort of government-sponsored competitor.
    • The market is not known for rewarding altruism.

      Exactly. In fact, it's exactly the opposite: capitalism rewards those who are the most greedy, who are willing to fuck others over for their own gain, and those who are able to manipulate the environment in which things are produced, purchased, and sold.

      Just because it appears to be the fairest workable economic system at this time doesn't mean it's good, or even really fair. And it doesn't mean that others can't game the system to their advantage (which is tru
      • "We deserve a pandemic. "

        You quite simply took the words out of my mouth, after reading his post. You will have lots of time to enjoy your phat lewts while your dead, fuckers. The sad thing is they probably have experimental broad spectrum cures for pretty much everything locked up somewhere. And the capitalisits shall inherit the earth.

  • by moracity (925736)
    ANOTHER license. I'm so sick of hearing about licensing.

    I know everyone is going to side with Indonesia...in fact, I think they should do what they need to do in order to secure their own access to medicines derived from the samples they give. However, if it were the U.S holding virus samples hostage for its own benefit, people would be calling for blood.

    Another perfect example of hypocrisy. People want everything equal until someone or something they don't like gets to exercise the same equality.
    • >>I know everyone is going to side with Indonesia...in fact, I think they should do what they need to do in order to secure their own access to medicines derived from the samples they give. However, if it were the U.S holding virus samples hostage for its own benefit, people would be calling for blood.

      Another perfect example of hypocrisy. People want everything equal until someone or something they don't like gets to exercise the same equality.

      Most of the posters siding with Indonesia seem to be claim
      • I think the difference here is that the U.S. isn't 'growing' the next generation of virus as a cash crop. Not that Indonesia is doing it purposely, but it IS now charging us for the privilege. The other alternative, should the price be too high, would be to blockade the country.

  • Capitalism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Duncan3 (10537) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:01PM (#17938070) Homepage
    If drug companies cannot patent a sell a cure for hundreds a dose (see for example the current controversial HPV vaccine) they will not develop the cure. They are far too busy working on penis pills to work about something that will kill 60% of the world population anyway.

    That's the rule, that's what corporations do, that's America! If they don't they very quickly get thrown out by the shareholders and replaced by those that understand this rule. Why are people shocked?

    Nobody in their right mind expects Indonesians will be able to afford the vaccine, they will die en mass. This is why we have universities and the WHO, where scientists who haven't crossed over to the dark side develop cures for things.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      America has some different patent laws for phram, and some of the best laws in the world.

      OTOH, the Australians, which is who they are mad it, has different laws.
    • by kabocox (199019)
      Nobody in their right mind expects Indonesians will be able to afford the vaccine, they will die en mass. This is why we have universities and the WHO, where scientists who haven't crossed over to the dark side develop cures for things.

      Um, no. We have the WHO and universities to protect ourselves from those diseased poor of the world. If didn't keep a watch on them, they could spread some nasty diseases into the industrialized countries. It's cheaper for the WHO to do this on behalf of the industrialized na
  • If Windows or Suse or Ubuntu has an error and causes me a problem, I have no financial recourse.
    In America if a drug causes a problem, the lawyers are ready to collect.
    Can you imagine a GPLd vaccine that sells for $5 cost of production that causes 1 death per 5,000 doses. This may not get picked up in testing, but it might cause 1000 deaths before it gets recalled. If Merck sold the vaccine for $50, each family would get $1,000,000 and Merck would be out $1Billion. If it was a GPL $5 vaccine.......
  • by Electric Eye (5518) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:05PM (#17938118)
    Playing devil's advocate, I think a bird flu pandemic is exactly what this planet needs right now. We've added a billion people and welcomed two billion+ populated nations to the industrialized world and we're destroying most of our natural resources. I think a pandemic that could potentially reduce this burden, especially in SE Asia where those countries seem hell bent on destroying the environment in just about every way. Call me sick, but I don't have faith in humanity to reel itself in when it comes to development and consuming more and more in the future. The only solution is fewer consumers.
    • . I think a pandemic that could potentially reduce this burden, especially in SE Asia where those countries seem hell bent on destroying the environment in just about every way.

      Not going to happen. The last pandemic which everyone is comparing this one two only knocked off a few percentage points of the population at best. Twenty percent of the world came down with it which is a large number but not as many as those killed.
      • I see what you're saying, but the population density is magnitudes higher, especially in SE Asia, most American cities. I believe you are referring to the flu pandemic in the early 1900s? I don't think the world's population was more than a billion back then.
    • by wolfemi1 (765089)
      What the hell? Okay, so basically you're saying "the hell with everyone else, they should die because I'm too crowded." And someone modded you insightful. Come on, people!
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Call me sick

      I'll wait until the pandemic reaches your neighborhood first.

    • by kabocox (199019)
      Playing devil's advocate, I think a bird flu pandemic is exactly what this planet needs right now. We've added a billion people and welcomed two billion+ populated nations to the industrialized world and we're destroying most of our natural resources. I think a pandemic that could potentially reduce this burden, especially in SE Asia where those countries seem hell bent on destroying the environment in just about every way. Call me sick, but I don't have faith in humanity to reel itself in when it comes to
    • Every time someone suggests something like this, it reminds me of how lazy people can be. Instead of thinking up real solutions, you hope that the problem goes away.

      Instead of starving mankind, we should be pushing for new solutions. More nuclear power, breeder reactors, renewable power sources, fusion power, genetic engineering to increase crop yields, recycling, CO2 sequestration, asteroid mining, space habitation etc. These are all necessary if we want to survive as a species, and these are all time-co
  • Waitaminute. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Garridan (597129) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:10PM (#17938200)

    They feel slighted when they give away such samples, but then cannot afford the patented vaccines.
    How is this Indonesia being evil? They've gotten tired of getting fucked in the face by greedy american pharm companies. It's like, "Hey! Give us some virus, and we'll make a cure!". "Here's the cure! Oh... you can't afford it? Well, sorry all your people are dying. BTW, do you have any samples of the new strains? We'd really like to make a new cure."

    I'd get pretty tired of that, too. This isn't "playing the IP game, with the world's health at stake". This is fighting back against the IP trolls, who are holding the world's health hostage.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Australians *not* Americans.

      Stop your knee jerk reactions, they only make you look stupid.
  • The Indonesians are pissed off with the Australians *not* the Americans. Read this article from The Jakarta Post: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp? fileid=20070208.A03&irec=2 [thejakartapost.com]
  • Won't the drug companies just buy samples directly from the infected people? Surely a sick Indonesian kid has a lower price point than the government of Indonesia. This won't last long.
  • by Baki (72515) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @05:54PM (#17940768)
    Something important with national and international importance obviously cannot be left to "the market" and commercial interests. It is long overdue to nationalize all drug companies and let the government(s) decide what research is done and what not (viagra etc.).
  • by Goonie (8651) * <robert DOT merkel AT benambra DOT org> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @06:59PM (#17941762) Homepage
    This would be OK if the average Indonesian actually saw some benefit from the money gained from the licensing. Instead, the money will just be siphoned off by corrupt officials. Indonesia is one of the most corrupt places on Earth.

    Instead of the usual situation where virus samples go to Big Pharma, who make patented vaccine, and get rich saving the developed world and wealthy people in the developing world, while Indonesian proles get neither vaccine nor money, we'll have the situation where virus samples go to one part of Big Pharma, who will (hopefully) make vaccine, and get rich saving the developed world and rich people in the developing world, and send royalties back to already rich Indonesians. Again, Indonesian proles will get neither vaccine nor money.

    This is just a cynical money grab by the Indonesian elite, and, worse, by restricting who gets access to virus samples they just might be delaying the development of a vaccine that will save millions of lives.

Sentient plasmoids are a gas.

Working...