AIDS Research Curtailed for Lack of Profit

No Profit in AIDS Research?
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The People
September 9, 1995

AIDS Research Curtailed for Lack of Profit

BY LOUIS LIPCON

In its final report, the National Task Force on AIDS Drug Development told the Clinton administration that drug companies and most biotech researchers are abandoning efforts to develop medicines for the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome because they anticipate little profit. The federal task force, composed of patients, drug manufacturers and National Institute of Health scientists and other research scientists said that money is the main obstacle to new and effective AIDS drugs. "Companies cannot spend millions researching AIDS drugs that do not make a big profit when both federal and Wall Street drug investment are plummeting," said Dr. Daniel Hoth of Cell Genesys Inc. The Associated Press report on this AIDS task force report said that, "To get things moving, the Task Force recommended tax credits of 50 cents per dollar invested in AIDS drug research, plus years of special market exclusivity for the resulting medicine."

At last report there were 150,000 deaths resulting from the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and hundreds of thousands more afflicted with the HIV virus awaiting a sure agonizing death. Only under the insane capitalist system would the research for drugs to halt this devastating disease come to a stop because "there's no profit in it." The desire for profit making is what keeps the wheels going in the capitalist system. And when a profit can't be made the wheels come to a stop. The drug and biotech companies are driven by the desire to find a drug that they can market, and when the HIV virus causing AIDS proves somehow formidable, making a marketable drug more distant, and their potential profits even more distant, they give up.

This pursuit of profits is compromising and bringing to a halt research today. Deaths from AIDS will continue as long as the capitalist system continues. Health and freedom from devastating diseases are possible only in a sane social system in which there are no such anomalies as profits and markets -- in a socialist world.