Brook Baker

Brook K. Baker is a professor at the Northeastern University School of Law and a member of and a policy advisor for the Health Global Access Project.

Recent Articles

Death Sentence

HANOI, VIETNAM -- As Dr. Mary Kamb reads the lab tests of the delirious patient lying before her this past summer at Bach Mai hospital -- the Vietnamese national hospital -- she does her best to hide a look of concern. The patient's CD4+T-cell count is down to eight -- a normal count is at least 500 -- meaning she has little immune response left. In addition, she is suffering from a rare fungal infection called penicilliosis that preys upon people with compromised immune systems. "You just don't see this stuff in the U.S. anymore," says Dr. Kamb, an epidemiologist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who's stationed in Vietnam. Like virtually all AIDS patients in Vietnam and the rest of the developing world, this one will die an agonizing and premature death because she cannot afford the several-thousand-dollar-per-year price for a regimen of antiretroviral medications -- drugs that have changed HIV in the developed world from a certain death sentence to a chronic but...