Roundup: Thailand vs. Big Pharma, kids with heart disease, biomedical research funding, and more

Arm wrestling over drug patents — Three months ago, the military government running Thailand informed Abbott Laboratories that it intended to break the company’s patents on several expensive drugs, including the HIV protease inhibitor Kaletra, thus allowing the manufacture or import of cheaper knockoffs. Abbott responded by dropping its plans to bring newer drugs, including a heat-resistant version of Kaletra, to Thailand, and the pharma and the junta have been locked in a standoff ever since. Over the weekend, Abbott offered to make the new version of Kaletra available at a deep discount price if Thailand left its patents alone; so far the government hasn’t responded.