According to the BBC, Brazil has announced that it is to infringe the patents of 5 AIDS drugs. The country currently offers an anti-AIDs “cocktail” of 15 drugs to sufferers, 8 of which are presently made in Brazil. It hopes that the total will go up to 12 or 13. Pedero Chequer, the head of the country’s anti-AIDS programme, has said that this step is the only way that Brazil can hope to keep up its treatment programme. Mr Chequer has accused drugs companies of collaborating to "keep developing nations hostage to the multinational industry".

The IPKat says that this is always a tricky issue. Certainly there’s merit in making medicine available to those that desperately need it, but if this action stops future medical innovations from finding their way to Brazil, this could be an own-goal.

Learn about the AIDS situation in Brazil here.
Information on AIDS drugs here.
Brazilian patent law here.
BRAZIL TO INFRINGE DRUG PATENTS BRAZIL TO INFRINGE DRUG PATENTS Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, December 03, 2004 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

Dear Jeremy Phillips and Ilanah Simon,

First of all, congratulations for the IP Blog.

Connected with the news "Brazil to infringe Drug Patents" I take this opportunity to, "data venia", disagree with its tittle and further comments.

Brazil is NOT infringing, nor is willing to infringe drug patents.

The original BBC article is clear on this point:

WTO's TRIPs Agreement provides for lawful compulsory licensing. One of the biggest players, the USA, has issued more than hundreds of them.

Brazil is being followed as the best example in HIV treatment. The link you had put on the blog describes the success of the Brazilian Government, by lawful means: "The World Bank predicted that by the year 2000 there would be 1.2 million people infected with HIV in Brazil. A relative stabilization of AIDS incidence has been observed since 1997, however, and Brazil began the 21st century with an estimated 600 000 people living with HIV/AIDS".

To date Brazil has been generally treated as a lucrative consumer market for the big pharmaceutical companies and not much transfer of technology has occured. Notwithstanding, I repeat, Brazil is not willing to infringe drug patents and, furthermore, BBC's article did NOT say that.

Truly yours,

Pedro Moniz
IDCID - Institute of International Trade Law and Development

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