Abbott Labs agrees to settlement with AIDS patients

According to the Associated Press, the pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories “says it will pay between $10 million to $27.5 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit filed by AIDS patients over the North Chicago-based drug company’s 400 percent price hike of an HIV drug.”

The suit was to go to court next month, and Abbott could have had to pay up to $1 billion “if the judge found Abbott hiked the price of the drug to stifle competition.”

I’ve got to be honest: I find this kind of thing unbelievably depressing.  Corporations raking in profits as they take advantage of the fact that HIV/AIDS patients need their drugs to stay alive?  That’s just so wrong.  (I could go on about that for a long time . . . I’ll spare you that.)

Abbott has a pretty patchy record with HIV/AIDS patients and advocates.  Over the last several years it faced a lot of outrage and protests from activists, mainly over its patent and pricing policies in developing countries.  To learn more about how Abbott and other pharma companies rank in terms of social responsibility, check out the Access to Medicine Index.  (I posted on this a while back.)  Abbott is 12th on the list — not too hot.

As I’ve been job-hunting recently, I found out that Abbott isn’t that far from my home.  Guess where I won’t be applying. . . .

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~ by h.e.g. on July 31, 2008.

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