More than 20,000 people are expected to attend BIO 2007, the world's largest biotech conference.
Stephen Heuser, a reporter for the Globe, covers biotechnology, medical devices, and the life-science industry.
Christopher Rowland , Globe reporter, covers the healthcare economy, including doctors and hospitals, insurance, and research.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Thailand gets icy reception
Dr. Pornchai Matangkasombut has been in an awkward position this week as a high-ranking representative of Thailand at the BIO convention.
We spoke with Matangkasombut, president of Mahidol University, this morning in the Thailand pavilion on the convention floor. Above him were signs that gave notice for an avian flu symposium to be held in Bangkok, boasted of a large population suitable for clinical trials, and described a large population of post-traumatic stress disorder patients who survived the 2004 tsunami.
But Matangkasombut lamented that Thailand has been rebuked by the White House and by biotechnology and pharmaceutical manufacturers in the West, including Abbott, Merck, and others in attendance at the convention.
``No one takes this lightly,'' he said. ``Thailand is not a banana republic, and Thailand is not doing compulsory licensing of AIDS drugs for fun.''
By the way, Brazil also recently decided to break a Merck patent for an AIDS drug. Brazil is not listed in this year's BIO convention program.