Advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the group coordinating the US protest in the Chicago area (which was supported by Chicago-area medical student activists and the Chicago Women’s AIDS project) also released a sixty second video parody lambasting Abbott and its CEO, Miles D. White over the drug giant’s continuing coldhearted actions on the pricing of its key AIDS drugs. The video parody premiered publicly for the first time on YouTube today in conjunction with the coordinated international protests in the three countries. The spot will also run as a paid television commercial on select Chicago area television stations. Link to the video parody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cJXSKIDcNU
“People may not be aware that Abbott is abusing NAFTA’s patent protections to charge five times as much for Kaletra in Mexico as it does in other middle-income countries, keeping this lifesaving drug out of reach for nearly all those living with HIV/AIDS in Mexico,” said Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President. "We hope these simultaneous international protests in Mexico, Colombia and the US will help bring about an end to Abbott’s price-gouging policies in Mexico and Colombia that shamefully continue to place profits ahead of saving lives."
“Many patients living here in Mexico depend on access to drugs such as Kaletra that are available elsewhere at a much, much lower cost,” said Patricia Campos, M.D., AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Latin America Bureau Chief, who is based in Mexico and is a principal coordinator of today’s Abbott protest in Mexico City. “We are strongly urging Abbott to immediately lower the price of Kaletra in Mexico to equal the price offered to Brazil in order to ensure that people in need in Mexico are not priced out of such potential lifesaving AIDS treatments.”
“Through these coordinated, grassroots international protests today, we want to loudly and clearly remind Abbott, its employees and the general public that the lives of people living with—and dying from—HIV/AIDS in Mexico and Colombia are just as important as those of people living with AIDS here in the United States. As a result, we are asking Abbott to reduce the price of Kaletra in those two countries,” said Terri Ford, Director of Global Advocacy for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “We literally want to bring this message home to Abbott and its executives. That is why our Chicago protest is taking place in front of the Lake Forrest home of Abbott CEO Miles D. White.”
Abbott has long been the target of multinational protests and legal actions over the pricing of its AIDS drugs including Kaletra and Norvir. Over the past several years as many of Abbott’s industry peers have significantly lowered the prices of their own lifesaving AIDS medicines on their own volition and in response to worldwide humanitarian need, Abbott has remained steadfast in its refusal to do so, or it has countered advocates’ and governments’ demands with only modest price reductions.
For more information, view the following fact sheet in PDF format:Abbott Price-gouging in Mexico and Columbia