CPTech Statement on Zimbabwe Action

May 29, 2002

"According to today's reports, the government of Zimbabwe has done what is long overdue, treated the Africa AIDS crisis like a real emergency. Every day there is a delay in overcoming barriers to treatment, people needless suffer or die. By overcoming patent barriers, Zimbabwe will have access to less expansive medicines, and can spend its scarce recourses more efficiently.

"For the talk about the HIV crisis, the main technical assistance agencies, WIPO, WHO and UNAIDS, have done little to provide help to countries in how they can actually implementing the TRIPS provisions for such emergencies. What is needed is a determined effort to create mechanisms to overcome patent barriers on mass, from one end of Africa to the other. This could be modeled after the US government's efforts in 1917 to overcome patent barriers to build an airforce, to fight a war. The AIDS crisis should be also put on a war footing, and we need to solve every problem, intellectual property, funding, infrastructure and education, to mention a few, and effectively as possible.

James Love, Director
Consumer Project on Technology

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