Reader feedback: Cheap drugs for poor nations, the art of the drug deal

I’m at work on a longer post that hasn’t yet come together, so I thought I’d pull an old dodge favored by daily newspaper columnists and respond to some reader comments instead. Fortunately for me, both comments left here in the past day or so have been thought-provoking — maybe there’s hope for the Internet after all.

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.