Research and Drugs
Problems in research and the manufacturing, pricing,
and distribution of prescription drugs in the fight against HIV-disease
exacerbate attempts to provide the best possible care to all those infected. The
purpose of this activity is to flush out these problems, to be seen as
additional elements to be considered in the decision-making process.
|The problems confronting ADAP programs across
the nation due to cuts in funding could conceivably be alleviated
by lower drug costs, as could similar problems worldwide. What is
the relation between research and drug costs? Do governments and drug
manufacturers have an ethical obligation to make life-saving therapies
and/or cures available to consumers at affordable levels? How do the
interests of profit impact the search for a cure? It has been said
that the industries which have grown up around HIV disease (as well
as other diseases including cancer) have taken on a life of their
own, independent of any concern for ending the epidemic, since ending
the epidemic would shut down those industries. If true, what does
this say about the rule of ethical values in today's global economy?
Students will address these questions in discussion forums, either in
a tradtional classroom setting and/or online, during which the instructor
may encourage the introduction of additonal, related issues, including
issues involving techonological and theoretical difficulties in research.
A written position-paper on any one question, or issue, may be assigned.