‘Occupy,’ Longwood-Style: AIDS Drugs Protest Outside Merck

'Occupy Merck' protesters Friday in Longwood

I’d planned to run over to the Longwood Medical Area on Friday to cover the “Occupy Merck” protest  — a small but creative “pool party” demonstration in the chill autumn air, aimed at pressuring the major pharmaceutical company into making its patented AIDS drugs more accessible to poorer countries.

Health reporters have had little call to cover the myriad “Occupy” groups springing up around the country, and this would have been my first chance to get in on the action. But I couldn’t make it — despite the “Occupy” in its name, the group staged only a brief protest — so am playing catch-up from its press release, and there’s more background in the Harvard Crimson:

A Patent Pool Party: Activists Make a Splash Outside Merck’s Pharmaceutical Labs
Groups warn that Merck’s refusal to join other companies in negotiating with the Medicines Patent Pool will jeopardize access to lifesaving AIDS treatment.

(Boston, MA, Friday, 21 October, 1:30pm) Over 50 students from Harvard University, Boston University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, people living with AIDS, and allies from Boston community groups held a “Pool Party” demonstration at Merck’s laboratories, adjacent to Harvard Medical School. The protesters donned bathing suits, sounding the call for Merck to enter negotiations with the Medicines Patent Pool.

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