Europe! Hands off our medicine!

Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) provide emergency medical treatment to people all over the world, who would otherwise be left with no, or extremely paltry medical care. MSF treat many patients with HIV/AIDS in developing countries. More than 80% of the drugs they use are produced in India. (The same is true of other medicines used by MSF.) But the European Commission is attempting to halt the use of cheap, generic medicines. This will result in the deaths of millions of people, who cannot afford the vastly more expensive, branded versions. The European Commission’s actions include:

  • Pushing for provisions in free trade agreements that will halt the production of affordable generic medicines.
  • Detaining generic medicines that are in transit through Europe on their way to patients in developing countries.
  • Pushing for restrictions on production and supply of generic medicines through anti-counterfeiting policies like ACTA, the secretive international anti-counterfeiting trade agreement.

The campaign page is here if you want to get involved.

Here’s a short video of patients in Kenya who rely on generic medicines.

One Yale woman’s response

Readers are encouraged to check out a new addition to the feminist blogosphere. Michelle Morgan, a graduate student in American Studies, wrote the following in the absence of any sensible response on the part of the Yale Daily News to the behavior of DKE.  Boy, you know people are hungry for a better response than the Yale Daily News provides, when a facebook post goes so viral that people urge her to put it on a blog.  Oh, but condemning misogyny is so very, very bad!  Does Morgan think she might be being accusatory, much?

Yes, I am. I am accusing these young men of constructing a ritual rite-of-passage that interpellates them into patriarchy by strengthening their “bonds of brotherhood,” and that it amounts to little more than another “boys club” of privilege and power. Indeed, I am a 31 year old woman, with a son who will turn 11 in a month. Most of the young men of DKE are closer to my son’s age than mine, and perhaps that accounts in part for my visceral reaction to their chants. I fear that I still live in a world where a “boys will be boys” attitude prevails. But I cannot let my personal convictions overshadow the fact that my visceral response goes far deeper than that—that I personally find “no means yes, yes means anal” threatening and intimidating. How much worse for the students forced to live in close proximity with these young men? What about the young men who find this threatening and intimidating as well, and who cannot speak out about it for fear of retaliation against them?