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Context of 'November 14, 2006: Report: Rich Countries and Large Drug Makers Blocking Poor’s Access to Affordable Medicine'

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US President Dwight Eisenhower rejects a Soviet proposal that North and South Vietnam remain permanently divided and join the United Nations as separate states. [Karnow, 1997, pp. 692]

Entity Tags: Dwight Eisenhower

Timeline Tags: US-Vietnam (1947-2001)

The corrupt, repressive, US-backed dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle is overthrown and is succeeded by the Sandinistas. The Sandinistas will implement reforms that significantly improve social conditions. For instance, the literacy rate will improve from 25 percent to 80 percent, student enrollment will more than double by 1984, the number of school teachers will more than quadruple, and the percentage of people with access to health services will dramatically increase. [Anderson, 1988; Media Monitors, 9/24/2001; Walker, 2003] An Oxfam report entitled, Nicaragua: The Threat of a Good Example, will conclude in 1985: “In Oxfam’s experience of working in seventy-six developing countries, Nicaragua was to prove exceptional in the strength of that government commitment [of meeting the basic needs of the poor majority].” [Melrose, 1985]

Entity Tags: Anastasio Somoza Debayle

Timeline Tags: US-Nicaragua (1979-)

The United States recognizes the states of Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia. The European Union, which has already recognized Croatia and Slovenia, recognizes Bosnia. [US Department of State, 12/6/1995]

Entity Tags: European Union, United States

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) writes: “Heretofore, the world looked to the United States to do the right thing. No more. The United States has lost its moral authority.” [Truthout (.org), 6/23/2004]

Entity Tags: Ernest F. Hollings

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

Oxfam publishes a report concluding that poor people in developing nations are dying needlessly because drug companies and the governments of certain wealthy nations are putting a higher priority on defending intellectual property rights than protecting human life. According to the report, the United States has used free-trade agreements and threats of sanctions to prevent countries from producing and distributing low-cost generic drugs in order to preserve the monopolies of large drug companies. Likewise, the drugs makers themselves are pushing countries to prevent the sale of cheaper drugs. “Pfizer is challenging the Philippines government in a bid to extend its monopoly on Norvasc, a [blood] pressure drug. Novartis is engaged in litigation in India to enforce a patent for Glivec, a cancer drug, which could save many lives if it were available at generic prices,” the Guardian reports. The Oxfam report says that efforts to block the poor’s access to affordable medicine undermines the five-year old Doha declaration, which sought to improve poor countries’ access to cheap drugs. “[R]ich countries have failed to honor their promises. Their record ranges from apathy and inaction to dogged determination to undermine the declaration’s spirit and intent. The US, at the behest of the pharmaceutical industry, is uniquely guilty of seeking ever higher levels of intellectual property protection in developing countries,” the report says. [Guardian, 11/14/2006; Oxfam, 11/14/2006 pdf file]

Entity Tags: United States, Oxfam

Timeline Tags: US Health Care

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