The bill on breaking patents for medications used to treat AIDS was approved today by the Constitution and Justice Commission of Brazilian Chamber of Deputies.
The proposal determines that Brazilian laboratories can produce generic equivalents of all medications used in AIDS prevention and treatment. This will make these medications more affordable than the patented brand-name products.
According to the director of the Ministry of Health’s National STD/AIDS Program, Pedro Chequer, by producing the three drugs envisioned in the proposal – Lopinazir/Ritonavir, Efavirenz, and Tenofovir – Brazil would save around US$ 83.2 million (200 million reais) in the first year alone.
According to Chequer, these medications account for 60% of the Ministry of Health’s budget for anti-retroviral drugs.
The country’s public health system takes care of 154 thousand carriers of the HIV virus, annually, throughout the country, providing the medications free of charge.
The Ministry’s forecast is that this number will grow to 180 thousand, 170 thousand of them in Brazil and 10 thousand in countries to which Brazil gives assistance.