Abbott: Brazilian Copy of AIDS Drug Will Put Patients at Very High Risk

A Statement from Abbott


At Abbott, we are proud of our heritage and global leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We remain committed to this fight, and to the people with whom we partner in this worldwide effort.

In Brazil, Abbott has collaborated with officials of the Brazilian government for years to provide unrestricted access to high quality treatments for HIV/AIDS patients. Of course, we continue to do so.


Under Abbott’s agreement with the Brazilian Ministry of Health, Brazil receives Kaletra for the lowest price in the world outside of Africa and the Least Developed Countries, as designated by the United Nations.


In these countries, Abbott loses money on Kaletra sales through the Abbott Access humanitarian program.


Brazil has the world’s 9th largest economy; therefore its demand that it is owed the same relief as developing countries is counter to the spirit of the TRIPS agreement.


A compulsory license for Kaletra is not in the best interest of people in Brazil who are fighting HIV/AIDS.


Such a mis-step puts short term maneuvering ahead of the need for access to new and improved treatments.


Compulsory licensing would have significant negative consequences for the global discovery and development of future treatments for all disease areas, not just HIV/AIDS.


In the end, without innovation and new therapies, it is the people fighting HIV/AIDS and many other devastating diseases who will lose.


As Minister Costa states on the National AIDS Program Web site, this action “is to support our national manufacturing industry,” which is clearly inconsistent with the intent of WTO measures reserved for health emergencies in the poorest countries.


No industry can fail to take notice of the harmful effects of stripping one company or one industry of its intellectual property. For that reason, this proposed measure would fail to be of long term benefit to the Brazilian economy.


The world needs the highest quality therapies to fight HIV/AIDS – these therapies are the result of complex and extensive research and development to ensure their safety and efficacy.


Use of unevaluated, untested generic attempts to copy these drugs puts people with already compromised immune systems at unacceptable, exceptional risk. Brazilians deserve better than this, as do people fighting HIV/AIDS throughout the world.


Abbott has great hope that collaboration with officials of the government of Brazil will lead to a mutually agreeable solution that is in the best interest of people fighting HIV/AIDS in Brazil and around the globe.


Abbott – www.abbott.com

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