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Lives Versus Profits By Joseph E. Stiglitz

Business  (tags: Intellectual Property, U.S. Supreme Court, Myriad Genetics, Utah, genes, who owns genes, 2 critical breast cancer genes, profit vs. value of life, patent system, monopoly, corruption, Novartis kickbacks, WTO, TRIPS agreement )

- 1809 days ago -
The United States Supreme Court recently began deliberations in a case that highlights a deeply problematic issue concerning intellectual-property rights. The Court must answer the following question: Can human genes - your genes - be patented?

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Tim C (2420)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 8:14 pm

Jason S (50)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 8:57 pm
Lives over profits and humans over money also the earth over business, Good posting, thanks

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 5:19 pm

Robert O (12)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 7:06 pm
Thank you Judy.

Munro Tapper (80)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 7:16 pm
Great article. Thanks. Brilliant man.

Judy C (97)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 7:57 pm
Thanks for commenting. Joseph Stiglitz is definitely brilliant, Munro. Here he examines the nature of scientific research, which he says is actually suppressed when there are tight patent controls on a medical discovery. If better discoveries come along, they often can't be implemented. He points out ways that our system fails us, making medical care ridiculously expensive. Jason, it does show just how sick priorities are in the business world. Really, it is not acceptable to put a price on lifesaving medical care. If a price is set, inability to pay should never make treatment unavailable to anyone.

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 4:38 am
Not exactly, that could not be patented. Actually he's only brilliant if you are an idiot.

Kathryn Niell (112)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 1:44 pm
Myriad sounds as if it has been taking lessons from Monsanto! Corporationism will destroy the world!

Sheryl G (363)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 4:48 pm
Within the article:

But a Utah-based company, Myriad Genetics, claims more than that. It claims to own the rights to any test for the presence of the two critical genes associated with breast cancer – and has ruthlessly enforced that right, though their test is inferior to one that Yale University was willing to provide at much lower cost.

The consequences have been tragic: Thorough, affordable testing that identifies high-risk patients saves lives. Blocking such testing costs lives.

Myriad is a true example of an American corporation for which profit trumps all other values, including the value of human life itself.

And this is happening over and over with all sorts of things. Blocking our way to a self-sustaining way of life. Blocking clean, affordable, and non fossil fuel energies that would back of climate change and allow our Earth to mend and heal herself, along with all the rest of us living on this planet.

Our so called elected Leaders have been short sighted in many areas, due to ignorance, greed, or their falling behind in the take over of the Corporations. We have Serious Serious issues that are taking place and they all waste too much time in Washington squabbling over the same issues and not addressing really anything all the while Rome is at an all time high for burning to the ground.

Those who run these Companies, those who sit in seats of Government, those who allow this to continue in their knowledge of such things are Heartless! Capitalism was not to be at all cost to all living beings on Earth. It is only one of many systems that this planet could be operating under, and when Capitalism doesn't hold any moral obligation to anyone or anything then it's flawed. Ayn Rand would love it now, people dying due to this run away system destroying lives around the world.

I always appreciate such articles by Joseph E. Stiglitz, his book Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy was an informative read when the book came out in 2010 and I suggest it to anyone that would like to understand what is going on better. Perhaps John would like to read it, and learn some manners at the same time about respectable conversation.

M B (62)
Friday May 10, 2013, 3:03 pm
That reminds me of Nestle: Nigella sativa -- more commonly known as fennel flower -- has been used as a cure-all remedy for over a thousand years. It treats everything from vomiting to fevers to skin diseases, and has been widely available in impoverished communities across the Middle East and Asia.

But now Nestlé is claiming to own it, and filing patent claims around the world to try and take control over the natural cure of the fennel flower and turn it into a costly private drug.In a paper published last year, Nestlé scientists claimed to “discover” what much of the world has known for millennia: that nigella sativa extract could be used for “nutritional interventions in humans with food allergy”.

But instead of creating an artificial substitute, or fighting to make sure the remedy was widely available, Nestlé is attempting to create a nigella sativa monopoly and gain the ability to sue anyone using it without Nestlé’s permission. Nestlé has filed patent applications -- which are currently pending -- around the world.

Prior to Nestlé's outlandish patent claim, researchers in developing nations such as Egypt and Pakistan had already published studies on the same curative powers Nestlé is claiming as its own. And Nestlé has done this before -- in 2011, it tried to claim credit for using cow’s milk as a laxative, despite the fact that such knowledge had been in Indian medical texts for a thousand years.
...Sorry, I got carried away, guys like Joseph Stiglitz give me hope; it's not to late to keep fighting. Great post, thanks Judy.
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