Corrupting Health

Roger Bate | 28 Nov 2006 | TCS Daily

Transparency International (TI) celebrated its 12th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) last week in Guatemala. Founded by ex-World Bankers and influential government officials from developing countries such as Kenya and Bangladesh, TI , which is one of the more effective and sensible global NGOs, has pushed the World Bank as well as increasing numbers of Governments to address corruption seriously.

Drug Snares

Roger Bate & Kathryn Boateng | 09 Sep 2006 | National Review Online

Throughout the developing world, hospitals have become places where patients don't bother to go; it's not that they aren't sick — there just are no drugs for the doctors to prescribe for them. Two thirds of the world's population and 80 percent of Africans do not have adequate access to drugs. While manufacturers' pricing and grotesque poverty-levels are partly to blame, a major culprit is the governments of these poor countries, which impose tariffs, taxes, and customs duties on imported drugs.

Taxed to Death

Roger Bate | 06 Jul 2006 | Foreign Policy

In recent years, the amount of aid for developing countries has increased, and the price of many drugs has fallen. So why does one third of the world's population still lack access to proper healthcare? To a large degree, the fault lies with the poor countries themselves. Many charge high tariffs on life-saving medicines and equipment, sometimes even taxing products that are donated for free. Foreign drug manufacturers must often jump through numerous bureaucratic hoops to get their products to those who need them most.

A Trade Opportunity for China and America

Roger Bate & James Driscoll | 14 Apr 2006 | TCS Daily

Bush administration Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has warned that the US is running out of patience waiting for China to take effective steps to do its part to reduce the ballooning US$200+ billion trade deficit with China. Recently, the US, Switzerland, and Singapore proposed a small but highly constructive remedy China could implement immediately: eliminate tariffs on medicines and medical products. Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington DC next week affords President Bush a signal opportunity to call upon China to take this urgently needed action.

When high taxes kill

Roger Bate | 11 Mar 2006 | Union Leader

In the time it takes you to read this column, at least 10 people in poor countries will die from diseases that are preventable and curable. Instead of improving access to critical medicines, many countries keep drugs out or make them too expensive.

Goldilocks Pricing

Richard Tren & Roger Bate | 27 Feb 2006 | TCS Daily

For many years, AIDS activist groups have campaigned for cheaper drugs, wider access to treatment and against the stigma of AIDS. In many respects, their campaigns have been successful; the prices of AIDS drugs have fallen dramatically and more and more people are now receiving life-saving AIDS treatment. Much of that success however has been due to the private sector, donors and charities finding solutions on the ground that work. Some of the activist activity has been ideological in nature and more concerned with bashing the research-based drugs industry than finding real solutions that work.

Africa's economic fate in its own hands

Richard Tren & Jasson Urbach | 13 Dec 2005 | Business Day (South Africa)

Africa can achieve prosperity too, but it has to be more open to trade; must stop blaming others for its problems; and has to improve the institutions of a free society.

Death and Taxes

Roger Bate | 05 Dec 2005 | Medical Progress Today

Why taxes and tariffs on medicines in developing nations is a fatal policy.

Putting Profits Before People

Richard Tren & Roger Bate | 20 Jun 2005 | TCS Daily

Richard Tren argues against the East African trade ministers intention to subject essential medicines to import taxes.

Personal view: Poor countries must remove tax barriers to key medicines

Roger Bate | 29 May 2005 | Daily Telegraph (UK)

Campaigns to raise awareness can sometimes give the impression that all we need is for some glamorous celebrities to click their fingers for the problem to be solved.