We Did Something. But We Won’t Tell You What.

This is why reasonable people tear their hair out. Reuters has announced that the World Health Organization did something HUGE about the high cost of patented drugs for developing countries – we’re talking a major breakthrough, baby, this is the Godzilla of international agreements, crushing special interests underfoot, but heart-warming too, you know? It’s like if Jaws met the Bridges of Madison County, only with more je ne sais quoi. Or is it savoir faire?

Problem is, no one will say what the agreement actually is. You think I jest? Check it out.

In the absence of actual facts, here are some Doc Gurley-style ideas for what this WHO “breakthrough” might be:

1) They sold the pharm (heh). Wait ’til Aunt Eller hears about this.

2) In order to prevent wealthy countries (and the poor people living in them) from finding out that poor countries get a break on price, the new, secretive WHO Fake-Pharm Initiative means that life-saving pharmaceuticals will be packaged and sold overseas as Skittles.

3) In point of fact, nay-sayers should be aware that a WHO subcommittee for pharmaceutical intellectual property rights met a progress step deadline to reconcile discrepancies between the mission statements of working groups who are charged with goal defining action steps in order to out-lay the path toward negotiation. In theory. So there.

4) In the same way that Big Pharm pays generic drug manufacturers big money to NOT make generic pills, Big Pharm has agreed to now pay the WHO to stop hassling them about this issue. Afterward, everyone went out for champagne, caviar and a screening at Cannes.

5) To reach a final answer on this complex, ethically charged delicate issue, the buffed head lobbyist for Big Pharm and a wiry, desperately-poor sick person from Malawi went two out of three rounds in no-holds barred one-to-one combat. Broadcast rights were sold to offset potential pharma profit losses.

Vote for what you think the WHO agreement means in the comments section!

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