by TheRaven64 (641858)
It's a really neat idea. 'We're philanthropists,' says the foundation's representative, 'we'd like to give you drugs - entirely free - that will save tens of thousands of lives in your country.' Pretty much the offer you can't refuse, for any politician - no one wants to be the one that turned down an offer to save that many lives. 'There's just one small thing you have to do for us,' says the foundation. 'Well, not really for us - we'd love to avoid this - but unfortunately the drug companies won't let us have the drugs unless you sign this IP treaty with the USA. It's to protect their investment, you understand.'
Well, that's fine - just one treaty, and it can't be that bad. Until you realise that it means that you are now not allowed to produce cheap generic versions of the drugs locally (or import them) - after the donation runs out, you have to keep buying the US versions that are several times the price. So, after a few years, it's probably going to cost more lives than not taking the money originally, but that's okay, you're a politician, you're not going to be accountable.
Oh, and as a bonus, it protects US IP-based companies (in which, coincidentally, the investors in the B&MGF have a lot of other investments) from foreign competition, by preventing another country from bootstrapping an industrial economy in the same way that the US, China, and so on, did.
Still, it would be hard to be a philanthropist if you ran out of poor people - they're just making sure that they can keep helping people for the foreseeable future.