Students protest at drug company's actions
- By: Navin Chohan
Law students at Yale University in the United States have formed a pressure group after the institution licensed exclusive production of an AIDS drug to a pharmaceuticals firm for $40m (£28.5m) a year, reported Julian Borger in a recent article in the Guardian.
Yale holds the patent for the drug d4T, an antiretroviral also known as stavudine, which was invented by Professor William Prusoff, a member of the university's academic staff. The antiHIV drug is manufactured under the brand name Zerit by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the pharmaceutical giant, which is paying $40m in royalties each year to the university for the exclusive manufacturing licence. Zerit is sold at a price unaffordable to developing countries where AIDS and HIV are endemic.
Like other American universities, Yale is faced with the problems of maintaining academic integrity while at the same time satisfying large corporate sponsors and donors, of which Bristol-Myers is one, says