Monday, December 26, 2005

DUH!

From The Seattle P.I.

WASHINGTON -- In an unusually candid admission, the federal chief of AIDS research says he believes drug companies don't have an incentive to create a vaccine for HIV and are likely to wait to profit from it after the government develops one.

And that means the government has had to spend more time focusing on the processes that drug companies ordinarily follow in developing new medicines and bringing them to market.

"We had to spend some time and energy paying attention to those aspects of development because the private side isn't picking it up," Dr. Edmund Tramont testified in a deposition in a recent employment lawsuit obtained by The Associated Press.

Tramont is head of the AIDS research division of the National Institutes of Health, and he predicted in his testimony that the government will eventually create a vaccine. He testified in July in the whistle-blower case of Dr. Jonathan Fishbein.

"If we look at the vaccine, HIV vaccine, we're going to have an HIV vaccine. It's not going to be made by a company," Tramont said. "They're dropping out like flies because there's no real incentive for them to do it. We have to do it."

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