• Categories
  • Archives

US Health Journal Praises Brazil for Playing Hard Against AIDS Drugs Makers

Efavirenz
Brazil has set an example to other developing countries by employing "creative measures" to successfully tackle its HIV/AIDS epidemic, says a new study published by Health Affairs.

The study commends the country's methods employed in significantly lowering AIDS-related death and illness, such as developing generic AIDS drugs in public factories and threatening to produce generic versions of patented medicines.

In 2000, to combat rising treatment costs, Brazil's health minister José Serra pressured pharmaceutical companies to reduce their prices by threatening to issue a compulsory license that would enable local production of generic versions of patented antiretrovirals.

The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement allows a developing country to invoke a compulsory license if the nation's health is at risk, thus allowing the production of patented drugs without payment to the patent holder.

Despite initial protests from the United States, the move proved successful and several companies slashed their prices. Brazil also started producing generic copies of non-patented medicines in 2001.

Brazil issued its first compulsory license to import Efavirenz – the most commonly used HIV/AIDS drug in the country, made by Merck & Co – from India in 2007 and began producing the drug locally this year.

"Brazil's challenges to multinational pharmaceutical companies promoted transparency about the high cost of patented medicines in an era when companies did not publicly share their drug prices," aid Amy Nunn, co-author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University in the United States.

She said in a press release: "Before Brazil's efforts, as recently as the year 2000, most people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries died without receiving treatment."

Brazil's experience is valuable for middle-income countries, who are increasingly relying on generic medicines, say the authors.

Graham Dutfield, professor of international governance at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, says Brazil has set an excellent example for other countries.

"Brazil's drug policy has been absolutely correct, giving priority to the human right to health over private commercial interests, something all countries are required to do under international human rights law," he affirmed.

The authors' findings – based on interviews and analysis of Brazilian media – are published in the July/August edition of Health Affairs.

This article appeared originally in Science and Development Network – www.scidev.net.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Wants More than an Apology from London for Killing of Brazilian

Federal deputy Maria José Maninha from the Workers Party has called for action by ...

Brazil Lauded for Curbing Child Labor by 61%

For being "an example of good practices," Brazil was selected to participate in Monday’s ...

Left Is Right

President-elect Lula is honest, passionate, smart, and charming. Forget his lack of formal education. ...

Best-seller Books, Plays and Movies

By Brazzil Magazine PLAYS RIO Opereta—O Homem Que Sabia Português (Operetta—The Man Who Knew ...

Discrimination out in the open

Has Brazil been able to create a racially integrated society? Some domestic and foreign ...

Hollywood Gets a Taste of Brazil’s Folk Celebration, the Festa Junina

Forróçacana (pronounced Foh-haw-sacana) is one of the most important bands of Forró in Brazil.  ...

1964, a Military Coup Brazilians Loved

Following the fortieth anniversary of the military coup which deposed the government of João ...

A Brazilian Poet’s Perspective on a Fishy Human Connection

Glauco Ortolano, a Brazilian poet and writer, who teaches college in the US has ...

Brazil: Despite Charges of Fraud and Corruption Lula Backs Allied Senator

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, said that the resignation or ...

Despite Crisis Brazil’s Central Bank Posts Over US$ 1.3 Billion Profit

Brazil's Central Bank (BC) posted net profit of 3.173 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 1.366 ...