Compulsory licences : Abhisit continues the little dirty blackmail

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Wednesday called on the United States to not intimidate Thailand over the enforcement of compulsory licensing (CL) on essential drugs that save millions of lives, adding that the Kingdom would comply with the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s regulations on CL.

“I have clearly said that the government has signalled its reaction to the US. If they continue to fight back by saying that the situation in Thailand is worse, then it would have a negative impact because it would pressure us to use the CL,” he said. “We have already found other solutions.” (Nation)

And another version :

“I have sent a clear signal,” Mr Abhisit said. “If the US decides that the situation has worsened, I think it will produce a negative impact.

“There will be pressure from our society to expand CL if they treat us that way.” (Bangkok Post)

Another master piece of hypocrisy and cheap rethoric from Abhisit.

The Prime Minister follows exactly the same path than the Junta, Samak and Somchai governments, regarding the compulsory licences for drugs (breaking IP rights on medecines, using a very specific clause of the WTO about “national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency“.).

And his arrogance is simply astonishing : “if the US continues to fight back… then we will use… more CL” ! What a twisted logic and a dirty blackmail.

Let me translate to you : “we are stealing from you… but if you protest… then we will steal even more”.

My position in a nutshell : Thailand uses CL for instance for Plavix, an anti-clotting. But coronary problems ARE NOT A FREAKING NATIONAL HEALTH EMERGENCY NOR AN EXTREME URGENCY ! It’s absolutely not the spirit of the WTO agreement, even though I agree the WTO says that each country can define what is a “national health emergency”. But Thailand is playing with words.

The story is long and complicated. To know more, read my several articles.

A quick selection :

% of GPD for health : Thailand at the same level than… North Korea

Drugs, compulsory licenses : Health Minister wants to go further

The thai elite refuses to pay for proper healthcare for the thai people. This is the reality. Military lunatics, Thaksinistas and empty Democrats… they are all walking on the same path. The path of contempt and lie.

They are stealing and they are proud of it, and they are hidding their heist behind a convenient moral argument (“you can’t let poor people with Aids die without drugs”). But Thailand is a not a poor country like Africa. And coronary problems can’t be compared to Aids.

And with the free cash they can pay themselves, buy military toys, etc.

Thailand pays for swedish jet fighters. But refuses to pays for western medecines. I mean it’s so easy to debunk the moral argument of those politicians.

It’s a shame.

And the worst point is : the NGO, (their role is to defend rights of the people) are cheering up the thai government for the CL policy ! That’s the surreal beauty of this story.

They don’t even see that they are playing the game of the military and the elite. In a way, even if I don’t want to be offensive against them (we need NGO, more than ever) I think they are the useful idiots.

USA and Europe should strike back and teach the thai government a serious lesson.

11 Responses to “Compulsory licences : Abhisit continues the little dirty blackmail”

  1. 1 Bedwyr 5 March 2009 at 2:00 am

    The lesson here is simple: Thais will lie, cheat and steal while they have an incentive for doing so. They are generally oblivious to the consideration of ethical rights and wrongs. They are the same as small children who have not yet learned how to do right things simply because they are right and society benefits more from people doing right than people doing wrong. And sadly, the world has rewarded them for doing this. It is learned behaviour and it needs to be unlearned.

    What is needed is simple and obvious. Ostracisation. Deny them the opportunity to strut the world stage and pretending to be important. Deny them relationships with civilised people. Deny them the privileges of trade that large economies give to under-developed nations like Thailand to give them a hand-uout. Push them back into the stone age until they learn how to behave in civilised society.

    Development is a privilege. Being a global partner is a privilege. The high regard of ethical people is a privilege, and all privileges bring responsibility. The world must teach Thais how to be responsible, nobody owes Thais a living, the only time the world notices Thais is when they become a pain in the ass, like now. If they do not respond to the kindness we use when teaching children then treat them with the harshness we would use if a pet dog bites the hand that feeds it. The Thai elite responds much better to the toe of a boot than it does to the caress of a hand.

    I have no patience with these greedy and mendacious people. The poor Thai is usually a wonderful person but the rich Thai is usually an avaricious and tiresome prick and needs to be dealt with accordingly.


  2. 2 George P Tuckeer 5 March 2009 at 8:08 am


    In the nineteenth century, American companies, with tacit approval from their government, and the active assistance of laws passed (or not passed) by Congress ripped off European ideas without so much as a ‘thank you’.

    Japanese Companies in the fifties ripped off American ideas while the government looked the other way.

    In the Sixties and seventies, Korean and HK companies ripped of Japanese ideas.

    Then the Taiwanese ripped off the Koreans. Now the Chinese rip off everyone’s ideas.

    Soon the Cambodians will be ripping off Chinese Ideas, and so it goes.

    Currently, American drug companies are ripping off ideas from Asian traditional medicine, patenting them and selling the same back to Asia.

    I’m not saying it’s right. Just saying that when it comes to mendacity, the Thais are in good company.

  3. 3 hobby 5 March 2009 at 8:11 am

    I still think the stealing goes both ways.

  4. 4 Mark 5 March 2009 at 8:51 am

    In his posturing Abhisit conveniently, as did hid predecessors, fails to mention the other areas in which Thailand has a poor record on piracy: cable and satellite broadcasting, garments and cd’s/dvd’s.

    The Intellectual Property Department stated that American businesses feel that police and customs officers are more active in the suppression of pirated garments. I don’t think this is true. Much has been removed from the streets in tourist areas, but business is very strong in offices and commercial centers.

    I would say the standard of pirated cd’s and dvd’s, for example, has improved dramatically in recent years. Masters are always available before general release in public cinemas. This is a huge business for the police, so it is not in their interest to tackle it.

  5. 5 Bedwyr 5 March 2009 at 9:56 am

    @George and Hobby:

    True enough from both. It sticks in my craw though, that they can bendy words all over the place and think they are being shrewd when they are only appearing shiftless and greasy.

    Of course the world rips people off, of course big pharma is obnoxious, but the Thais seem to find a way to do it with maximum sleaze and minimum appearance of honesty.

    It really galled me to hear Abhisit complaining that Thai IP rights were being stolen, and it really galls me to hear Anupong say there are no secret prisons. That kind of thing uttered with a straight face and the poor loves really believe that people believe them.

    George had it bang on when he noted in another post: ‘cognitive dissonance’. Exactly.

    I think cognitive dissonance can be immeasurably improved by a good kicking.


  6. 6 fall 5 March 2009 at 12:24 pm

    A non-punishment treatment is a reward and encouragement unto itself…

  7. 7 Roger 5 March 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Since when compying with an international treaty signed by both parties is breaking the law???

    You have writen at lenght against Thailand decision to issue CL, other have writen at lenght supporting it.

    But utimately, the law is on Thailand side as even the US have accepted…


  8. 8 ThaiCrisis 5 March 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Yeah, yeah Roger, I know the drill.
    But sometimes ethics, morality prevail on “legality”.

    Do not forget to protest the next time the thai military will buy swedish… jet fighters. Or make a coup.

    What can I say more ? I don’t want to insult you. But the expression “useful idiots” does apply, unfortunately.

    Indirectly, you are supporting the thai generals… And you know what ? They are laughing, oh boy, they are laughing.

    It doesn’t strike you that… the thai generals started the CL policy ? A red herring to entertain the useful idiots, while they were doing their dirty job behind.

    Bravo. Congratulations. They need you.

  9. 9 Roger 6 March 2009 at 8:46 am

    Ethic and morality prevails on “liaglity”?

    That is an interesting value giwven to the law and its value, very american (war on iraq, meddling in Afirca, interventionism in SE Asia, all in the name of morality I guess?)

    What about the US morality then when it uses the same agreement to issues compulsory licences for Tamiflu, the Balckberry, part of F16 Jet Fighters and auto part?

    The Thai General started the CL policy and they also started teh 100% condom programme who saved thailand from a disaster 17 years ago.

    I prefer to be a “useful idiot” who save life than a self-righteouss one who does nothing.

    Always yours.

  10. 10 lek 6 March 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I would like to know if the “savings” from stealing from the drug companies is getting passed on through to the Thai people or if the “savings” are being pocketed by the rich Thais who are behind the Compulsary licenses. My guess is that the savings are being pocketed. These rich Thai always babble on and on about doing this or that for the “Thai People.” but THE “Thai people” always means THEM. The will shamelessly steal from anyone at any cost to the own nation.

  11. 11 RockderktheGreat 7 March 2009 at 2:14 am

    To leave open a legal option for nations to decide for themselves which patents they’ll respect, or ignore, seems to me folly from the start, given the moral calibre of many governments around this wonderful world. But we’re talking Thailand here, the perennial ‘developing nation’ controlled by a super-rich elite who have no intention of ever allowing the country to join the ranks of the first world, who will not educate but their own kin (overseas) and who drool with envy at the level of control their mentors in the Myanmar enjoy over their own enslaved and downtrodden poor. These guys are the enlightened ones to the average Somchai. They even herd the people into groups known as ‘The Assembly of the Poor’ and the ‘Alliance of fucking Slum Dwellers’ – not sure about that second one there. But I digress. Bob Dylan got it right when he said ‘Steal a little and they throw you in jail; steal a lot and they make you ___________’

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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