Patents, Life and Death

As we have seen with AIDS drugs, now we get the same with Tamiflu: Taiwan to ignore flu drug patent

Taiwan has responded to bird flu fears by starting work on its own version of the anti-viral drug, Tamiflu, without waiting for the manufacturer’s consent.

Taiwan officials said they had applied for the right to copy the drug – but the priority was to protect the public.

[…] A top health official said Taiwan had demonstrated its goodwill to Roche in talks – and the country hoped it would eventually secure permission to copy the drug.

“We have tried our best to negotiate with Roche,” Su Ih-jen told Reuters news agency.

Slashdot’s headline is a little confusing, as I would call it a public health choice, but there you go: Violating A Patent As Moral Choice