Recent advancements by the U.S. pharmaceutical industry have been nothing short of amazing. Perhaps more than any other development, the current generation of AIDS therapies is an example of the benefits delivered by this industry. By relegating HIV and AIDS to the status of a controllable disease, millions of people will be able to live productive lives where just a decade earlier they would have been facing almost certain death. "Drug cocktails" of the latest and most innovative medicines can save lives, but at a cost; these regimens can run as much as $12,000 per year per patient. With the average African nation spending as little as $10 per person on health care each year, any hope of securing new, more effective HIV/AIDS drugs does not exist.
Matthew Kramer, The Bolar Amendment Abroad: Preserving the Integrity of American Patents Overseas After the South African Medicines Act, 18 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 553 (2000).