In other parts of the world, it's become acceptable for governments to simply ignore drug patents in order to produce more of necessary drugs in times of health scares. However, the US has mostly shied away from doing that, as the myth of patents as some great encouragement for innovation remains deeply rooted (and, oh yeah, pharmas are big campaign funders). However, with growing concern over the lack of supply for swine flu vaccines, there is some talk over whether or not the US will consider importing generic Tamiflu
, even though the drug is still under patent in the US. There are approved generics, which are chemically identical, that are made elsewhere, such as India. However, importing it into the US, while it could save lives, is bound to be massively controversial. However, again, if we're going to have a moral discussion about intellectual property, can someone please explain the moral argument for not being able to use generic drugs in this instance?