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Big Pharma Collects Names & Addresses At Latino Pride

The corporitization of Pride was most sickeningly evident at the Latino Pride Celebrations (which were fabulous otherwise) this weekend. As people entered the Pride event they were approached by cute, young gay men offering free rainbow t-shirts (no company logos on them). All you had to do was fill out a form with your name and address. The form had a small "Gilead" logo at the bottom. Gilead also had a table where they gave away little key chains, and more free t-shirts in exchange for filling out the form. To my knowledge there was no contest or other reason to collect names. They were simply collecting names and addresses for marketing purposes. When asked what kind of company they were, I was shocked to hear them say they were pharmaceutical company. One member of the promotions team said he was not informed what company he would be promoting before until arrived at the event.

Then I noticed the
keychain was a promotion for their anti-retroviral HIV drug. The text on the little car attached to the keychain says "Move on with Life," as if to say people with HIV can simply take this drug and move right on with life...yeah, not a care in the world like oh, I don't know...the financial burden of paying for such drugs in this country!

It turns out that
Gilead is the biblically named company that Donald Rumsfield was a board member of, and was the co-chair of before he joined the Bush Administration. He currently "owns between USD$5 million and USD$25 million in Gilead stock... The rise in Gilead's share prices from USD$35 to USD$57 per share will have added between USD$2.5 million to USD$15.5 million to Rumsfeld's net worth." In addition to HIV drugs Gilead created the famous Tamiflu. And when the Bush administration was busy terrorizing us about the threat of bird flu, they designated 1billion dollars to purchasing Tamiflu from Roche, the company that Gilead partnered with for "research and marketing" of Tamiflu. Looks like Rumsfeld made some nice cash from the bird flu "scare."

"In a recent meeting of regional health ministers, Dr. Francisco
Duque III, Secretary of the Philippines Department of Health, accused Roche of "monopolizing" the production and distribution of the drug known as Oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu). " -Wikipedia

Gilead also partners with companies such as
GlaxoSmith Kline and Merk, both of which have been sued by Prescription Access Litigation, and other individuals and organizations for participating in unethical and illegal operating procedures. Remember the Vioxx scandal anyone?

Do you want Donald
Rumsfeld's friends to have your name, address and other demographics?
Gilead's revenue increased almost 50% in 2006, earning ver 3 billion dollars. As they fear Michael Moore's new movie will surely point out, BIG Pharma is an industry that cares about nothing but Profits. claims that the pharmaceutical industry is attempting to discredit Moore's film by trying to spin the filmmaker as biased and one-sided. Ken Johnson, senior vice president for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), says America needs a "thoughtful and well-researched" investigation into America's healthcare problems, and insists Moore's film won't provide that.

But consumer health advocate Mike Adams disagrees. "Big Pharma is the king of spin and propaganda," he says. "And drug companies will paint anything as 'biased' if it doesn't bow down to the lies, distortions and fraud being promoted by the industry. Big Pharma is not merely afraid of Michael Moore, they're afraid of anything resembling honest scrutiny or investigative journalism," he added.

Update: In 2006 Gilead was subpoenaed for its marketing practices of Truvada, the drug they were promoting at Latino Pride.

They are preventing generic drugs from coming onto the market through various illegal tactics, sending doctors on vacations to prescribe their brand-name drugs, and now they are collecting our names and addresses.

It is time to unite in resistance of Big Pharma and the unhealthy corporitization of Boston Pride.

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