Monday, March 26, 2007

We won't share our Birdflu...

Interesting story here: Indonesia eyes deal for bird flu samples. Basically the Indonesian Government is refusing to release samples of bird flu to the World Health Organisation until it has a legally binding agreement that the samples will not be used to create an expensive commercial vaccine that they will then not be able to afford.

Updated below

This is an interesting attempt to force benefit sharing from a less developed country. Given that Indonesia is where more than a third of the present victims of bird flu have died, Indonesia's interest in an affordable vaccine is clear. It is unclear however that this approach is the best way to achieve it, if only because stalling may prevent there being any vaccine available.


The World Health Organisation looks like it might cave, although Indonesia might end up doing its own deal. See here for details.