Most of people who know me here may not know that I am an HIV/AIDS Activist. Although this has moved a step in the back ground, I still keep myself informed around the HIV/AIDS Activities, particularly those affecting Africans in the Diaspora. I have just been reading an article in our local magazine: Focus 28.02.11 (in German!) and came across an article titled: “Immune against scruple”.
In Brief: It all began in a small town in Germany called Delmenhorst west of Bremen. A patient opened his new packet of Combivir medicine, only to realise that it was partly empty! He went back to the Chemist to find out why, and immediately investigations rolled off which gave the results that the Product/Charger No: R343741 has been produced twice! What started in Delmenhorst has revealed what we always suspected. HIV/AIDS is a booming business, for those supposedly supplying antiretroviral drugs.
In USA one dosage of medicine costs $890,00 in Germany €840,00 in Congo and Bolivia €34,00 and in Mali and Zambia €20,00. Now there is a company that found his Market Niche – This price difference allows a good profit margin which has actually made some people to become millionares! This company deliveries for pharmaceutical companies the AIDS medicines destined for developing countries, rediverts the shipment back to Germany, and this way sells the medicines online making huge profits.
Is this not paradox? Antiretroviral drugs destined for people in need are being rediverted and resold at high profit margins in the developed countries, and the needy left dying. In 2005 the BBC did a report U.K. Health Service Bought Antiretroviral Drugs Illegally Diverted From Poorer Countries. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service had then purchased antiretroviral drugs illegally diverted from developing countries around the world, and 6 years later we are seeing this business booming. The question is what efforts are being taken by the EU policy makers to curb this “booming business?”
My motto has been that to avoid and to destroy this “booming business” we need to protect ourselves, by avoiding infection. Accessing information on how best to protect, avoiding risk sex and more over my spreading the word, only this way we will see reduction on HIV/AIDS infections.