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Pharmaceutical companies to meet in London

Issue No. 1742

Pharmaceutical companies to meet in London

Blair backs firms who let her die

"THE GOVERNMENT is capitulating to big business." That's the verdict of Sophia Tickell of the Oxfam charity on Tony Blair's latest move on behalf of giant multinational corporations. He and his New Labour government have come out fighting-for the right of the giant drugs companies to profit even while people are dying.

Blair has endorsed a government report which backs the drugs companies' battle to uphold their patents on drugs which can treat AIDS and TB. That means denying the poorest countries the right to produce or buy cheaper versions of these drugs. People across Africa are dying simply because they can't pay the price demanded by drugs multinationals like GlaxoSmithKline and Merck.

On 1 May New Labour is welcoming big business to a conference on patents and "intellectual property" in London. Everyone disgusted by these profiteers, and by New Labour's slavish support for them, should make sure they get the welcome they really deserve.

ELIZA MWASE died in Malawi from AIDS three hours after this photograph was taken

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Sat 7 Apr 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1742
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