Dr. Yusuf Hamied, Managing Director of the Indian drug company Cipla, thinks the Indian government should put the country "on a war footing" to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic that threatens his country. As evidence, he cites the 3500 new HIV/AIDS cases that are reported almost daily in India, as well as statistics suggesting that this year the total number of infected Indians may reach 35 million.
But there is another battle being fought, this one over how to deal with the pandemic in developing countries like India: a battle over the patents held on the anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) known to prolong the lives - and minimize the suffering - of HIV sufferers the world over. Cipla produces generic copies of ARVs whose patents officially belong to pharmaceutical giants like Bristol Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline.
But without a proper health infrastructure to monitor patients and ensure the drugs are properly administered, India faces the risk of a drug-resistant HIV explosion, a new epidemic that will lead to even more deaths and misery.
With the support of NCDO The Netherlands; The European Commission Directorate General for Development to promote better understanding of development issues; and the World Health Organization.
The other titles in this series are:
1. The Road from Rio - Questions the relevance and success of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
2. Danger: Children at Work - Guatemalan agencies try to discourage child labor and fireworks production by poor families.
3. The Trade Trap - Ghanaian farmers struggle to get a foothold in the international market.
4. Kosovo: Rebuilding the Dream - Assesses the success of UN efforts in rebuilding Kosovo.
5. The Perfect Famine - Examines the causes of, and solutions to, severe famine conditions in Malawi.
6. It Takes a Village - A cyclone in Bangladesh results in the construction of an experimental community health center.
7. Seeing is Believing - Zambia begins a nationwide program to deliver Vitamin A to its population.
8. Cheated of Childhood - The International Labor Organization tries to rescue and rehabilitate the street children of St. Petersburg.
10. The Doctor's Story - The US debate over abortion has severe consequences for health care in rural Nepal.
11. Sowing Seeds of Hunger - The AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa has crippled the agricultural community while forcing children to undertake the responsibilities of farming.
12. Up in Smoke - Dependence on tobacco crops and manipulation by the tobacco industry has stunted the economy of Malawi.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2003
Copyright Date: 2002
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-125-8
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-008-1