Captain Snarky

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17 October 2005

Must We Be So Unprepared for Avian Flu?

A thought provoking angle on the Avain Flu courtesy of the sharp folks at O'Reilly Radar. They take a look at how Intellectual Property laws are viewed by several countries in light of current events, and how countries' postions re: IP rights of companies that make Tamiflu and Relenza for example, could mean the difference between life and death for millions of people. This thread gets heavy as Phil's post on O'Reilly points out how serious the tension between human life and capitalism could be:

Given the very real possibility that H5N1 could lead to a global pandemic where 150Million people could die (and some experts think this is a conservative estimate) I think the ethical approach is to ignore IP law for the sake of saving life. Capitalism has given us lots of great things, but this is a case where capitalism and the idea of intellectual property break down.

It is somewhat reassuring to note that at least one US Senator sees this issue and is trying to tackle it.


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