Patente und die Armen

Cambridge - Die Diskussionen über Arzneimittelpreise und geistige Eigentumsrechte nehmen kein Ende. Zahlreiche lebensrettende Medikamente, insbesondere diejenigen zur Behandlung von AIDS, werden unter dem Patent US-amerikanischer und europäischer Pharma-Konzerne hergestellt. Die Preise dieser Medikamente führen häufig dazu, dass sie für arme Menschen in den ärmsten Ländern unerschwinglich sind. Während also viele AIDS-Patienten in reichen Ländern durch diese Mittel am Leben gehalten werden können, sterben in armen Ländern Millionen von Menschen vor der Zeit und hinterlassen Elend, Millionen von Waisen und wirtschaftliche Verwüstung.

Eine typische Behandlung mit AIDS-Medikamenten wird in wohlhabenden Ländern auf etwa 10.000 US-Dollar pro Patient und Jahr veranschlagt. Die Herstellungskosten liegen allerdings weit unter den Marktpreisen, etwa bei 350-500 US-Dollar pro Jahr für eine Kombination aus drei Präparaten. Einige Hersteller qualitätsvoller Lizenz-Produkte, beispielsweise Cipla in Indien, haben vorgeschlagen, die Arzneien zu Preisen anzubieten, die nur unerheblich über den Herstellungskosten liegen. Als Reaktion darauf (und aus Rücksicht auf das Image) haben Merck, Abbott Laboratories und Bristol Myers Squibb, drei große Patentrechte haltende Unternehmen, ihre Bereitschaft erklärt, den afrikanischen Markt mit “null Gewinn” zu versorgen, also zu etwa 500 US-Dollar pro Patient für eine einjährige Behandlung mit von ihnen hergestellten Medikamenten gegen AIDS.

Die Tragödie von Millionen verarmter Menschen, die an AIDS sterben, obwohl es Medikamente zu ihrer Behandlung gibt, wirft weit reichende Fragen hinsichtlich weltweiter geistiger Eigentumsrechte auf, richtet doch der Patentschutz eine Schranke auf, die verhindert, dass lebenswichtige Medikamente die Armen dieser Welt erreichen. Aber wie lassen sich die Vorteile eines globalen Patentsystems, das einen Ansporn für Innovation und neue Entdeckungen bietet, mit der Garantie vereinbaren, dass auch arme Menschen Zugang zu der medizinischen Fürsorge erhalten, die sie so dringend benötigen?

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