Fire in the blood.

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About this work


This documentary explores the issues surrounding patented antiretroviral drug treatments for HIV, focussing on the period 1996 – 2003, in which large appeals were made to governments and multi-national pharmaceutical companies to allow the importation of generic versions of antiretroviral treatments to Third World countries. The programme compares Pfizer’s patented version of the antiretroviral drug Fluconazole, Diflucan, to the generic unpatented versions available outside of the Third World. Journalist Elvis Basudde Kyeyune discusses publicly declaring his HIV status. Clips are shown of Director of Science & Business Development (GlaxoSmithKline) Jan Raaijmakers and USAID’s Andrew Natsios discussing Africans’ right to Western HIV drugs in the 1990s. Clips are shown of Dr Peter Mugyenyi, Founder of Treatment Action Campaign Zachie Achmat, and Justice of the Constitutional Court in South Africa Edwin Cameron speaking at the Biennial International AIDS Conference, 2000. Dr Suniti Solomon, Dr Eric Goemaere, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak about HIV patient care in India. Former Vice-President, Pfizer Inc. Dr Peter Rost and Achmat discuss pharmaceutical aid to Third World countries from the U.S.A. The New York Times Journalist Donald McNeil and former-U.S. President Bill Clinton discuss the ethical implications of pharmaceutical companies price-setting drug treatments. Clips are shown of former-South African President Nelson Mandela discussing Achmat’s boycott of antiretrovirals. James P. Love of Consumer Project on Techology/Knowledge Ecology International, Cipla’s Yusuf Hamied, CEO, Biogenerics William F. Haddad, and Dr Denis Broun of World Health Organisation talk about their experiences campaigning for the production of generic antiretrovirals in the late-1990s. With Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, they go on to discuss the practicalities and ethical implications surrounding drugs patent laws. Clips are shown of CEO, PhRMA Alan Holmer discussing the quality of the ingredients of patented drug treatments in 2001. Dr Noor Jehan Majid, Dr Linda-Gail Bekker and Noerine Kaleeba talk about their experiences of rationing prescription antiretrovirals to HIV sufferers in Africa in the early-2000s. Clips are shown of former-Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan announcing the Global Fund in 2002; former-U.S. President George Bush announcing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and Clinton announcing a deal with Cipla to bring the price of antiretroviral treatment in Africa down, both in 2003. Stiglitz explains the TRIPS agreement, which transferred control of pharmaceutical patents from governments to the World Trade Organisation.



Physical description

1 DVD (87 min.) : sound, colour, PAL ; 12 cm

Copyright note

Sparkwater India Production.

Creator/production credits

Written, directed and produced by Dylan Mohan Gray.
Narrated by William Hurt.



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