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FROM THIS EPISODE

Major pharmaceutical companies have dropped efforts to stop South Africa from buying generic AIDs drugs at low prices. Yet their initial effort to block such sales drove their public image as low as its profits are high. We weigh the dilemma of making medicines accessible and affordable without violating drug companies' patent protection and profit margin. How do competition, R&D; costs, government regulations, price controls and Medicare affect the equation? We hear from a drug stock analyst, healthcare researchers and advocates, and representatives from Doctors Without Borders and Merck Pharmaceuticals.
  • Newsmaker: Taiwan Reaction to Arms Sales - President Bush has sent a mixed signal to China by agreeing to sell Taiwan eight diesel submarines and four guided-missile destroyers, but not ships equipped with advanced Aegis radar defense system. Nadia Tsao, of the Taipei Times, evaluates the significance of the arms deal for Taipei and Beijing.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Is the Golden Age of TV Advertising Over? - In the early days of TV, even the news was marked by commercials. In the aftermath of the quiz show scandals, red-faced advertisers backed off. Now they're back in a way that has virtually erased the distinction between programming and commercials. Robert Thompson, who heads the Center for the Study of Popular Television, explains.

Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines

Deutsche Banc Alex Brown

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres

Ethics and Public Policy Center

Merck & Co.

National Center for Policy Analysis

Public Citizen Health Research Group

Syracuse University's Center for the Study of Popular Television

Taipei Times

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