Starbucks donates for World AIDS Day: One time cure, or lifetime customers? (Part 2)

In the last post, I discussed Starbucks’ donation for World AIDS Day. Starbucks gives 10 cents for each drink sold on December 1. Starbucks gives to The Global Fund, who buys antiretroviral (ART) drugs for those infected with HIV in lower income countries.

ART drugs aren’t a cure
Those infected with HIV must take ART drugs for the rest of their life, or they’ll die. So ART pharmaceutical companies make a guaranteed profit for the lifetime of each HIV patient infected. Does this mean they have no incentive to actually cure HIV or AIDS?


A cure for HIV/ AIDS means the “treatment” would be shorter
Patients would take the pills for a short time, which would rid the body of HIV/ AIDS. Once cured, the patients wouldn’t need pills anymore; so the drug companies wouldn’t collect any more money from them.

No HIV/ AIDS patients = no more customers
– A cure would eradicate HIV/ AIDS.
– This also means no one spreading HIV.
– So all current patients would be cured, and there would be no new HIV cases.
– Eventually no one would need to buy the cure.
– So pharmaceutical companies would lose the revenue stream from HIV/ AIDS patients altogether.

Pharmaceutical companies stand to lose lifetime customers if they invent a cure
Although corporations are people by law, they don’t just do things out of the goodness of their hearts. They definitely don’t like to leave profit on the table.

Find out the new incentive breaker for ART drug companies, continued in the next post.

Posted in Healthcare Tagged with: , , ,

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