The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

A Gold Mine in the Making

Oct 22, 2001

These days, everyone has heard of Cipro. It’s one of the drugs used to combat the effects of anthrax. Given the scare about anthrax, we would assume that the Bush Administration would already have put aside a stock of the drug.

Not the case. That’s because Bayer, the company which holds the patent on Cipro, is haggling about the price. The Bush advisers have already offered to buy stocks from Bayer for 155 million dollars, which figures out to $400 a patient. In India, where a generic version of the drug is sold, its cost is $20 a patient–and the generic companies still roll up a big profit.

But, of course, the Bush administration wouldn’t infringe on a patent–that is, a pharmaceutical company’s right to make enormous profits. It seems that for the rulers of this country the war on terrorism is one thing; profit is another.