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It's Big Business

Date 1989
Dimensions Paper: 10 7/8 x 22 1/4 in. (27.6 x 56.5 cm)
Overall: 10 7/8 x 22 1/4 in. (27.6 x 56.5 cm)
Print medium Print-Lithograph

Many of the ACT UP designs incorporated text and images; this poster is one of a few that communicated a message using text alone. The poster was made for an action at the New York Stock Exchange in September 1989 (two and half years after ACT UP's first protest, which also took place on Wall Street). All of the Wall Street protests (a second took place a year after the first) were concerned with the huge profits that the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome was making from the AIDS drug AZT. The company had received a patent ensuring that no other company could sell the drug for seventeen years. The company argued that it was justified in charging an exorbitant price for the drug considering it had spent a significant sum of money on its development. ACT UP countered that taxpayers had footed the bill through grants and tax credits. In the September 1989 action, activists requested that AZT be provided free of charge to anyone who needed the drug.

Credit line

Purchase, with funds provided by the ICP Acquisitions Committee, 2000

Feedback Accession No. 1166.2000