Thailand Defiant as U.S. Commerce Department Demands End to Life-Saving Generic Drugs
May 22 (LPAC)--Thailand Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla, in a teleconference to the Thai press, said that U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez "is on the side of the pharmaceutical companies," and that "we achieved nothing." during Mongkol's visit to the United States. "It's very clear he obviously represents the drug companies. There was no sign of friendship left when he started talking." Mongkol concluded that, from now on, "the [Thai] Commerce, Foreign Affairs and Public Health Ministries will go ahead with the Compulsory Licensing process" by which it will produce generic anti-retroviral drugs for AIDS and other treatments.
Mongkol said only the talk with Rep. Henry Waxman produced a positive result, as the latter promised to support Thailand's access to currently expensive medications and the use of cheap generics. He said Waxman will submit a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative to insist that Thailand's move is within the WTO regulations.
Al Gore's buddy Sen. Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, joined in Gore's genocidal assault on the poor, by demanding Thailand give up its compulsory licensing. Lieberman and four other Senators, including Dianne Feinstein, wrote to Trade Representative Susan Schwab, denouncing Thailand and demanding action against it. Thus far Schwab's office has acknowledged Thailand's rights, under the law, to issue compulsory licenses.<