, , ,

Bird flu strain: ownership or just profit?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A colleague of mine wrote (in Bahasa) a nice piece in his blog, suggesting that the Indonesian government should create a material transfer agreement ("MTA") when handling the bird flu strain. To get an idea what a standard MTA looklike, you can click this link.

News however tend to suggest that Indonesia is claiming ownerhsip over the strain. But I agree with my colleague, it doesn't seemed like Indonesia is claiming ownership. It only wants a fair treatment. Health Minister said in an interview:
“WHO should have had walls to protect us as victims. It turned out to be that’s not the case and this is how it is in the world. Developing countries are always on the losing side like what happened to the AIDS and heart disease drugs,” she said.

Thus, there is indeed a case of securing it through the MTA. The non exclusive nature of the MoU is a good thing, as Indonesia still can make cooperation with other pharmaceutical companies.