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7/1/14

The US / Peru Free Trade Agreement and generic medicines

It works like this:

  • In Peru, generic medicines exist as less costly alternatives to very expensive treatments against problems such as cancer, HIV/AIDS/auto-immune viruses, psychiatric disorders and arthritis.
  • If Peru's courtrooms uphold the petition it would signify a manifold price rise in many treatments. By way of one example, an anti-HIV treatment that currently costs around 500 Soles (~U$180) per capsule would cost the patient S/.7,000 (U$2,518) for the same treatment.
  • U$2.5k in a country with an average monthly salary of half that is no small amount of cash. The long and short of it; people won't be able to afford the treatment and will die (e.g. HIV) or have immensely more painful lives (e.g. arthritis). In the name of progress, of course.

One of the long-standing problems with unfettered capitalism is how it fucks people over just for the money, this is not new of course. But at least it's usually subtle about it.