Indonesia’s Questionable Bird Flu Deal

Indonesia’s decision to enter an exclusive agreement of sharing H5N1 virus strains samples with Baxter International is controversial to say the least.

This move comes very soon after Jakarta announced that they will stop sharing information relating to the bird flu infections on the grounds of intellectual property protection. This, in my opinion, is a case of valuing money above lives.

While many are dying in Indonesia resulting from bird flu, its government could somehow overlook this fact and focus on making a quick buck through some “exclusive agreement”. How this deal helps Indonesia to protect this infectious property of theirs remains to be seen. This reeks of an opportunistic move that could go very wrong.

Baxter denies coaxing Indonesia to implement this move.

FT and the BBC has more coverage on this news.

5 responses to “Indonesia’s Questionable Bird Flu Deal”.

  1. Perry Says:

    Greed knows no bounds.

  2. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Greed is one thing Perry, what peeves me off is that it could come at the expense of real human lives.

  3. Indonesia » Blog Archive » Indonesia s Questionable Bird Flu Deal Says:

    […] s decision to enter an exclusive agreement of sharing H5N1 virus strains samples with Baxter International is controversial to say the least. This move comes very soon after Jakarta announced that they will stop sharing … – more – […]

  4. ning Says:

    First, this is not an exclusive agreement. Indonesia cooperate with Baxter because it is the only firm that offer the agreement and agree with Indonesia’s condition. The minister said she welcome other firms as well.

    Secondly, it is not all about the money.
    Indonesia’s worry that what happened in the past with smallpox vaccine etc will happen again with this bird flu.
    Indonesia voluntarily sent the virus sample of smallpox to WHO, who then passed on to drug makers. The drug makers made research and made vaccine and patent them. Indonesia was not allowed to make the vaccine themselves because it was PATENTED. Instead they should buy the vaccine from those western drug companies with very high price from the drug companies who got their free samples from the WHO.

    What started as a free-sharing viral sample, end up as an unaffordable vaccine for the country.
    That’s unfair. And thats enough.

    The last, Indonesia will still provide the sample, with the condition it won’t be used for commercial purposes.

  5. ning Says:

    “This, in my opinion, is a case of valuing money above lives.”

    No, no. no.
    This is when Indonesia value the life of Indonesian and other poor countries as high as other lives, while those drug companies etc only value lives of those who can afford to purchase their expensive vaccine.