Wednesday, August 21, 2002

The RFF is a think tank that focuses on economic analysis of environmental issues -- they invented the idea of tradeable pollution credits used in the Kyoto agreement. They have a bunch of articles on Sustainable Development inspired by the Johannesburg conference. E.g., on antibiotic resistance:
The use of antibiotics as growth promoters in cattle and poultry feed has two effects. First, it may increase the level of bacterial resistance to antibiotics used in humans. For instance, there has been a sharp increase in the prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistant Campylobacter jejuni in both poultry meat and infected humans since flouroquinolones were approved for use in poultry. Therefore, antibiotic use in animals can have a direct negative impact on human health. Second, the depletion of antibiotic effectiveness due to use in animals may encourage greater antibiotic use in humans, and such use diminishes the antibiotic´┐Żs future effectiveness and, therefore, its value. The threat of depleted effectiveness caused by antibiotic use in animals reduces incentives for pharmaceutical firms to conserve use of their product; with a looming patent expiration, it makes more sense to exploit the initial value of the antibiotic.
I'm starting to think that IP is the root of all evil.


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