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Pricing protest at Hoffman LaRoche booth in Vancouver

  Fifty members of ACT UP from around the globe chanting, carrying signs
  and carrying the Golden (funeral) Urn descended upon the ostentatious
  booth of  Hoffman LaRoche. (ACT UP gave out Golden Urns to drug companies,
  public officials, and organizations whose policies and actions are hastening
  the deaths of people with AIDS.)Activists plastered the booth with stickers
  reading "AIDS Profiteer" and "Greed equals Death" . Activist also left
  "La Roach motels" in and around the booth.  This is the text of the
  Hoffman LaRoche 
  for killer pricing policies and indifference to AIDS.
  We are presenting another Golden Urn award to Hoffman "the Roach" for
  their long tradition of placing corporate greed above the lives of
  people living with AIDS. The obscene price of their new protease
  inhibitor, Invirase, is one more link in a never-ending chain of
  In the United States, their prices for Invirase and Hivid (Roche's
  nucleoside analog) are bankrupting government programs which provide
  drugs to low- and moderate-income people living with AIDS.
  Roche was the first company to sell a protease inhibitor, and the
  price they chose ($7,2000 annually) set the standard for the market.
  The company demands this high price even though they admit that
  Invirase is poorly-absorbed and under-dosed in its current form. Roche
  has refused repeated requests by activists to justify its price by
  allowing a confidential independent review of its actual research and
  manufacturing costs.
  Roche also displayed contempt for seriously-ill people living with
  AIDS by delaying its compassionate release program for so long that
  Invirase was fully-approved before the program was up and running.
  Consequently, many of those slated to receive free Invirase in this
  manner ended up being charged for it.
  Roche has also turned its back on teen-agers living with HIV/AIDS be
  refusing to lower the age limit of the  clinical trials to 13 years,
  as other companies have done.
  Adolescents' bodies absorb drugs similarly to adults so there is no
  reason to exclude them from studies which would provide important
  data, as well as providing young people access to their drugs. Roche
  has also dragged its feet on important pediatric studies of its
  products, such as Invirase.
  To see photo's of this action and others during the week of the
  international AIDS Conference in Vancouver go the ACT UP/NY's web site
  at : www.actupny.org.