Stephen J.LurieMD, PhDIndividualAuthor
In Reply: Our study showed that patent coverage
in Africa for antiretroviral medications was modest (21.6%), and that several
of the best HAART regimens (those that are "strongly recommended" in the current
Department of Health and Human Services treatment guidelines) are totally
unpatented in up to 52 of 53 (98%) African countries. None of the letters
disputes these facts or any of our data.
We believe that modest patent coverage should actually be welcome news
for public health: it means there is large scope to treat Africans with AIDS,
using generic drugs if desired. The authors of all 3 letters disagree, citing
counterexamples where patents exist. Where we see opportunities in that the
glass is 78.4% (or 98%?) full, others object that it is 21.6% empty.1
Attaran A, Gillespie-White L. Do Patents Prevent Access to Drugs for HIV in Developing Countries?—Reply. JAMA. 2002;287(7):840–843. doi:10.1001/jama.287.7.839
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