The determination to research and develop medicines to fight HIV/AIDS has contributed greatly to the steady decrease in AIDS-related deaths worldwide, from the peak of 2.1 million in 2004 to an estimated 1.8 million in 2009.
India has become "the pharmacy of the developing world." Without affordable Indian generic medicines, millions of lives saved by Doctors Without Borders and other organizations over the past decade would otherwise have been lost.
As the health care debate limps forward, it's time to consider a related but entirely overlooked topic: the availability of medicines. One major step forward is to stop approving frivolous drug patent applications.