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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Age of AIDS: Drug Money


Village Voice (06/23/92) Vol. 37, No. 25, P. 18

AIDS activists have been known to pressure drug companies, who reap large profits from the epidemic, to divert some of the profits back into the community, but companies' donations usually are not a form of altruism. Pharmaceutical companies like Burroughs Wellcome, manufacturer of AZT, are contributing money to AIDS organizations to fund projects which, without their help, may have never happened. But now AIDS organizations may be succumbing to the corporate forces. Test Positive Aware (TPA) in Chicago has recently received 350,000 from Burroughs Wellcome to nationally publicize its newsletter. Wellcome made guarantees not to influence the content of the newsletter, but it is unclear what Wellcome would do if the TPA published pieces urging readers to stop using AZT. Also, pharmaceuticals are donating money to advocacy groups which could influence a group's actions if they wanted to protest that company's exorbitant pricing. ACT-UP vowed that any offer from a drug company would be declined, even though ACT-UP/Golden Gate recently accepted $2,000 from Wellcome in memory of an activist. Yet Treatment Action Group's founder Peter Staley said, "We are at war and must use desperate measures. If I have to take money from the devil to save my life and the lives of my friends, I'll do it."


Copyright © 1992 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in June 23, 1992. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.