Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sleep well, knowing Rummy's still rich

There are many things I want to discuss in the next few days, still including the events in Gaza and Kucinich's withdrawal from the race, as well as that of John Edwards. And, some additional thoughts on the SOTU and the recession which we can't call a recession yet, given how relentlessly sunny we are supposed to be. Of course if you're not feeling relentlessly sunny, take a pill or something.

1.Xymphora (2006):"it's a small world, anthrax edition"
  • Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld owns a considerable number of shares in a corporation called Gilead Sciences;
  • Gilead owns the intellectual property rights to Tamiflu;
  • Tamiflu is a pharmaceutical touted by the Bush Administration as a remedy for anthrax (although in fact it is not indicated for anthrax);
  • the anthrax attacks on the United States vastly increased the demand for Tamiflu, and thus increased the value of Gilead, and thus made Rumsfeld a lot of money;
  • the anthrax for the attacks almost certainly came from an American military laboratory at Fort Detrick;
  • one of the named suspects at the lab is Philip Zack, a man who left the lab in 1991 after being involved in a racist attack against a fellow scientist of Arab origin, and a man who was observed having unauthorized access to the area of the lab containing the Ames strain of anthrax used in the attacks, around the time that some of the anthrax went missing.
  • Philip Zack, as neatly described here (found via here), went on to work for Gilead (identified from a scientific paper published in December 2000).
and 2.(2008) in which X takes note of this Doctors without borders bulletin:
Patent revoked on Tenofovir
US patent office’s move to revoke patents on key HIV/AIDS drug could mean increased access in developing world

In a move that could have major implications on access to a cornerstone HIV/AIDS medicine across the developing world, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on January 23, 2008 revoked four key patents held by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences on the drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF).

The public interest group Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), which challenged the patents in the US, submitted evidence that TDF was already a known substance at the time of Gilead’s application for the patents, and therefore a patent should not have been granted. The evidence used in the patent office’s ruling may have an impact on whether the drug will be granted patents in other countries, such as India and Brazil.

3. Rob Payne calls my attention to this item by Dennis Perrin, "pre-soaking your sane"(and says some unwarranted nice things about me.)

4.Speaking of copyrights, here's a story from London to Lubbock.

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