Letters

Effect of drug patents in developing countries

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7264.833/b (Published 30 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:833
  1. Michael Schull, president, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (Canada) ([email protected])
  1. Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto, Canada M4N 3M5

    EDITOR—Do drug patents kill? If they do the risk is felt overwhelmingly by the poor. AIDS will soon become the leading cause of death worldwide, and 95% of people infected with HIV worldwide live in the world's poorest countries. Effective treatments are mostly patent protected, with the result that the annual cost to treat a single patient with AIDS is up to 100 times the average gross domestic product per capita in developing countries.1

    These staggering facts have led to a campaign …

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