Damage Inflicted by Patent Law on Fighting Against HIV and AIDS

The US pharmaceutical market has been consistently proclaimed the most profitable source of the country’s internal revenue. With multimillion pharmaceutical corporations manipulating the decision-making process on the legislative level, the government faces extensive criticism in terms of its drug-related policies. The movie’s main idea is to expose the impact of policymakers who viewed the victims of AIDS as irrelevant since “one death is a tragedy and a million of deaths is a statistic” (Gray 00:01:51-00:01:53). Therefore, the movie tells us the story of millions of people in poor countries whose death became mere statistics because of inadequate patent laws that need to be changed.

With the creation of generic drugs, millions of people gained hope of prolonging their lives and regaining normal function. However, the life-changing effects of drugs are sabotaged by the patent laws enforced all over the world and by “unreachably high” prices for drugs in Africa, Asia, or South America (Gray 00:06:13-00:06:16). Moreover, patent laws encourage the officials to stall or thwart altogether the production and distribution of generic drugs against HIV. Therefore, the pharmaceutical industry produces the drugs available only for those who can afford them, while others are left to die.

At the early stages of generic drug production, people with AIDS could not purchase the drugs, so many of them tried to import cheaper drugs, which was illegal under the patent laws (Gray). Such legal restrictions contribute to the aggravation of the HIV global crisis. Several participants of the documentary, including activists Zackie Achmat, Desmond Tutu, and Eric Goemaere, emphasize the necessity of adapting patent laws to each country considering its specific needs.

All in all, the movie provides valuable insight into the problems of HIV-positive people in developing countries who suffer because of ineffective and unfair patent laws. I believe that such laws should be changed to ensure equal quality of healthcare for all. One of the law’s primary functions towards a human being is protection. Thus, it is crucial to protect people in the poorest regions affected by AIDS by providing them with easy access to life-saving drugs available at a reasonable price. Additionally, people should not be prosecuted for smuggling generic drugs when such drugs are not available for purchase in their regions.

Therefore, there is a need for modified laws eliminating health inequities and ensuring drug availability in all parts of the world.

Work Cited

Fire in the Blood. Directed by Dylan Mohan Gray, narrated by William Hurt, Sparkwater India, 2013.