segunda-feira, fevereiro 14, 2005

Brasil mantém posição sobre patentes

Brazil maintains tough stand on drug patents
Brasilia, Jan 5, 2005

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the boss of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis here Wednesday that Brazil will continue to challenge patent restrictions on AIDS drugs and other expensive medicines.

"Respect for intellectual property is fundamental, but ensuring access to medicines for the population is even more important," the president said during a meeting with Novartis Chairman and CEO Daniel Vasella.

Lula is following the course set four years ago by predecessor Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who signed a law allowing patents to be disregarded in order to manufacture cheaper, generic versions of expensive drugs.

Cardoso's government spared no effort to convince the World Trade Organization that paying what it called exorbitant patent royalties would undermine Brazil's internationally lauded program to distribute anti-AIDS drugs free of charge.

Despite challenges from big pharmaceutical firms, the WTO eventually sided with Brazil on the issue.

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