Abbott laboratory is threatening Act Up-Paris: An unbearable judicial pressure is put on HIV patients

Act Up-Paris
2 May 2007
Jérôme Martin
06 84 47 20 92

Pharmaceutical giant Abbott has threatened to sue Act Up-Paris in response to our denunciation of their decision to deprive Thai people living with AIDS from life-saving medication.

On Thursday, April 26th, Act Up-Paris received a fax from Abbott’s lawyers, Baker and McKenzie. Abbott is threatening to sue us for « service denial ».

On that day, Act Up-Paris was participating in a day of action against Abbott after the group decided to deprive Thailand of AIDS medicine. Their decision was a retaliation against the legal and legitimate measures the Thai government had previously taken in order to ensure real access to drugs for its population.

Thai patients will not be allowed access to therapeutical innovations developed by Abbott.

Responding to an appeal by HIV Thai people for an international day of action, Act Up-Paris organized a netstrike. Thousands of activists around the world answered our call for action and repeatedly connected to Abbott’s website in order to shut it down. Several times throughout the day, Abbott’s website was not available. This symbolic action seems to have been sufficient, since the firm didn’t find any other solution than to threaten us with a lawsuit.

This week, Abbott announced an important increase in its stock value. The 2004 World AIDS Conference in Bangkok, designated Abbott as the greediest pharmaceutical company. At the Toronto World AIDS Conference in 2006, Abbott didn’t dare register as an exhibitor. Time and again, Abbott has shown itself to place profits over patients. Their cynical and criminal business conduct has made them the most hated pharmaceutical among HIV patients in the world.

Faced with the anger of activists, patients, and supporters worldwide, Abbott knows only to respond with threats and repressive measures.

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