USA For Innovation Ad Campaign Targets Thailand’s Health Minister’s Web of Deceit

Over 1,000 letters sent to U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Ralph Boyce

WASHINGTON, May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — USA For Innovation ( http://www.usaforinnovation.org/ ) today announced an advertising campaign to highlight Thailand’s web of deceit and theft of American innovation and jobs. The advertisement, a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, highlights the Myth and Facts of Thailand’s Health Minister, Mongkol Na Songkhla effort to steal American medical innovations.

Additionally, supporters of USA For Innovation delivered over 1,000 letters to the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Ralph Boyce urging him to confront the Thai military regime’s theft of American property and not let this act of theft occur on his watch.

Complete Text of the Advertisement

“Will Thailand’s Web of Deceit
Cost American Jobs?

MYTH 1: Thailand is a poor country and cannot afford Western medicines.
FACT: Thailand is in the top 10% of wealthiest nations in the world.

MYTH 2: Thailand is doing everything it can to address its AIDS problem.
FACT: Thailand spends just 3.3% of GDP on public health, compared to
around 10% for Cambodia and 15% for the U.S. Following the military coup
last September, Thailand’s military spending skyrocketed by $1.1 billion.
Thailand is effectively stealing American and European technology in part
to pay for its increased militarization.

MYTH 3: Thailand is trying to lower the cost of Western medicines.
FACT: Thailand’s government actually raises the cost of drugs for needy
patients by imposing taxes and tariffs on medicines — including a
7% value-added tax (VAT), which the Bangkok Post recently reported may
soon rise to 10%.

MYTH 4: Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) needs to
deliver generic medicines to people who can’t afford Western medicine.
FACT: The GPO’s AIDS medicines have never been approved by the World
Health Organization. So while wealthy Thais can buy proven drugs,
poor patients get untested GPO knock-off drugs.

MYTH 5: Thailand is in the middle of an AIDS crisis.
FACT: Thailand is not alone — the world is in an AIDS crisis. Thailand’s
HIV prevalence rate is less than 1%, and it spends less on health care
than most countries around the world. Thailand’s theft of medical patents
slows the innovation necessary to help countries such as Swaziland
(20% of the total population is HIV+), Botswana (17%) and Zimbabwe (14%).

MYTH 6: Thailand’s recent use of compulsory licenses is legal.
FACT: Not so. Thailand’s actions are clearly at odds with World Trade
Organization rules. Thailand’s Minister of Health made no effort to
negotiate with drug companies before issuing compulsory licenses.

MYTH 7: Other countries issue compulsory licenses all of the time.
FACT: Again, not so. Health activists have invented a new definition of
“compulsory license” to include “consent decrees.” The very name “consent
decree” means that it is with the “consent” of the patent holder — a far
cry from the forced “compulsory” license.

A recent study found intellectual capital and ideas to comprise 80% of
America’s economic strength. Thailand’s theft of American intellectual
property is a direct assault on the millions of American workers who
develop life-saving medicines. Our jobs and new advances in medical
technologies are threatened when foreign governments are allowed to
plunder the products of American innovation. Congress’s passive
observation of this crisis is tantamount to outsourcing American jobs and
innovation.

We Urge President Bush and Members of Congress to Protect American
Interests — and the People of Thailand.

Learn What You Can Do to Keep America from Being Trapped in a Web of
Thai Myths. Visit ThaiMyths.com, a project of USA for Innovation.”

About USA For Innovation
USA For Innovation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of intellectual property and continued innovation around the globe. USA For Innovation educates decision makers, the media and general public about threats to innovation.

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