News Release

Buyers Club Founder Condemns “Pharma’s Genocidal Greed” and Trade Deals

Last night, “Dallas Buyers Club” won the Oscar for best actor (Matthew McConaughey) and best supporting actor (Jared Leto).

Bill Minutaglio writes: “The real legacy of the real Dallas Buyers Club is that it didn’t really have one.” Patrick Mulcahey writes in “Not Buying ‘Dallas Buyers Club’” that: “ACT UP doesn’t exist in ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ nor do NAPWA [National Association of People with AIDS], the PWA Health Group [People with AIDS], GMHC [Gay Men's Health Crisis], John James’ AIDS Treatment News, the Healing Alternatives Foundation. The film’s only gay characters are weak, docile, dithering, relegated to the background, standing in line for what [main character Ron] Woodroof is selling — and overselling.”

ENID VAZQUEZ, e.vazquez at tpan.com
Vazquez is associate editor of Positively Aware. She just wrote “Houston Buyers Club — Desparate Days Beyond Dallas” about the Houston Buyers Club — which recently closed.

GEORGE CARTER, fiar at verizon.net
Carter is director of the New York Buyers Club, the last of the Buyers Clubs and a non-profit. He said today: “There were incredible efforts by clubs in Boston, Houston, Phoenix, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco to help people survive. There were two in New York, including the PWA Health Group and Direct Access Alternative Information Resources — where I worked. DAAIR used to bring not yet FDA approved drugs to help people survive opportunistic infection and used an array of interventions to fight HIV.

“When DAAIR closed, we started NYBC almost ten years ago. Our efforts today focus more on battling ongoing inflammation and antiretroviral side effects, evidenced based as much as possible. We’re also addressing issues like Hepatitis C and cancers now. I had joined ACT UP in 1989 and saw the whole array of efforts to bring in drugs, supplements, botanicals — what evolved was a more comprehensive approach to surviving and thriving. This has helped thousands in the U.S. and Europe — and to the extent we’ve been able to reach out to friends in Nepal, Zimbabwe and Thailand.

“Yet globally, treatment and care is denied millions who cannot access antiretroviral and opportunistic infection meds due to pharma’s greed that is to me nothing short of a form of economic genocide. In addition, Harvard research underscores that even a simple multivitamin can substantially slow the rate of disease progression. We are still in the fight.” Carter stresses the continuing high costs of some treatments and that large pharmaceutical companies work to ensure that trade deals — like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership deal — ensure their interests at the expense of the well being of patients; for example restricting production of generics.

Carter is also director of the Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research.

See Carter’s piece: “A Petition To Bring Suit Against Defendants, (including the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Association and members of the United States Government) on the Charge of Genocide Upon Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS, 2000.” [PDF]

Also “Fighting Back Against Pharmaceutical Company Greed” in Gay Men’s Health Crisis Treatment Issues, April 2002.