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From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: Brazil's bold move: generic rights on AIDS drugs or we'll break 
Date: 25 Mar 2005 18:55:19 -0800
Message-ID: <>

>>Bolstering its reputation as a world leader in price wars over AIDS
medications, Brazil is threatening to break antiretroviral drug patents

unless drug companies allow it to manufacture generic versions of four
major AIDS drugs.

A spokesperson for the Brazilian health ministry offered no comment
when reached by telephone Wednesday, but a recent report on the Dow
Jones newswire said the government of President Ignacio Lula de Silva
has given three U.S. drug companies - Abbott, Gilead and Merck -
until April 4 to transfer technology that would let labs make generic
versions of Abbott's Kaletra, a combination pill of Lopinavir and
Ritonavir, Gilead Science's Tenofovir and Merck's Efavirenz. Brazilian
health officials say the four drugs combined take up 67 percent of the
government's funds for imported AIDS medicines. <<


LOL. India tried that, and got toasted for it in the software market.
Brazil can huff and puff, but I don't think it's dumb enough to do what
it threatens. Brazil, like India, has in the past been a pariah among
nations in regards to drug intellectual property (IP) rights. Until
recently, when Brazil saw the light, and agreed to honor World Trade
Agreement treaties. That properly resulted in a lot of pharmaceutical
manufacturing money flowing into Brazil. Which Brazil liked.

But reneging on this again, as Brazil well knows, will mean not only
pharaceutical investment dollars fleeing again from Brazil (after a
VERY brief return), but will also mean the US will take revenge by
simply refusing to honor copyright or brand-name labeling on anything
Brazil produces. And the international patent office (based in New
York) may well decide that Brazil doesn't deserve to receive world
patent protection on any Brazilian inventions.

This is a world which will no longer tolerate poor countries stealing
stuff from richer ones, and then crying that they can't get protection
for their own products in international markets. Brazil has plenty of
resources. It's going to have to come up with other stuff to
legitimately trade for AIDS drugs, or else get a lot more serious about


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