Brazil’s executive president of the Pharmaceutical Industry Association (Interfarma), Gabriel Tannus, says that Brazil will be unable to obtain authorization (known as compulsory licensing) to break patents on drugs used to treat AIDS.
“Compulsory licensing is permitted only in cases of national need and that is not Brazil’s case, says Tannus. “Brazil already pays low prices for these drugs. They pay less than anyone else except African nations”.
According to Tannus, Brazil has obtained price reductions of up to 65% on AIDS drugs.
“That is certanly praiseworthy,” he says, but then he goes on to criticize the production of generic versions of brand name AIDS drugs in Brazil.
Tannus says that Brazil uses raw material from countries such as India and China, which have questionable quality control. “This is a case of treating the Brazilian consumer like second-class passengers. I think they deserve the best,” he said.
Tannus also says that in his opinion Brazilian pharmaceutical labs, in both the public and private sector, do not have the technical capacity to expand the manufacture of generic versions of imported drugs.
The comments by Tannus were made in response to reports from the government that Brazil may break patents on as many as five drugs and begin manufacturing them next year.
“These reports come out regularly on the eve of negotiations between the government and the industry. They are part of the bargaining process. It is a bargaining position by the government,” he declared.
Translator: Allen Bennett