When we got to Anchorage in 1977, Jamie Love, as the founder and director of the Alaska Public Interest Group (AKPIRG) was reviled daily in the Anchorage Times for raising questions about equity, about the environment, about anything that challenged those with power. I don't have the constitution to take that kind of regular abuse and I was in awe of him.
Stephen Cysewski posted a FB link to a Guardian article about Jamie today, fighting big pharmaceutical companies whose patents often mean people die because they can't afford the jacked up price of drugs. It's worth reading. One more person who cut his teeth in Alaska and went on to make a big difference in the world. Way to go Jamie.
It begins like this:
"On a hot August afternoon in 2000, four Americans arrived for a secret meeting at the central London penthouse flat of an Indian billionaire drug manufacturer named Yusuf Hamied. A sixth person would join them there, a French employee of the World Health Organisation, who was flying in from Geneva, having told his colleagues he was taking leave.
Hamied took his guests into the dining room on the seventh floor. The room featured a view of the private gardens of Gloucester Square, Bayswater, for which only the residents possess a key. The six men sat round a glass dining table overlooked by a painting of galloping horses by a Mumbai artist (Hamied has racehorses stabled in three cities). The discussion, which went on all afternoon and through dinner that evening at the Bombay Palace restaurant nearby, would help change the course of medical history.
The number of people living with HIV/Aids worldwide had topped 34 million, many of them in the developing world. Hamied and his guests were looking for a way to break the monopoly held by pharmaceutical companies on Aids drugs, in order to make the costly life-saving medicines available to those who could not pay.
Hamied was the boss of Cipla, a Mumbai-based company founded by his father to make cheap generic copies of out-of-patent drugs. He had met only one of the men before – Jamie Love, head of the Consumer Project on Technology, a not-for-profit organisation funded by the US political activist, Ralph Nader. Love specialised in challenging intellectual property and patent rules. For five years, he had been leading high-profile campaigners from organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières in a battle to demolish patent protection."
Here's the whole article.