terça-feira, maio 03, 2005

Declaração da sociedade civil acerca dos genéricos no Brasil

Open Statement of the Civil Society regarding the Brazilian Negotiations for Voluntary License for AIDS drugs.

For the past 4 years, Brazil has at numerous occasions announced to be ready to issue compulsory licenses for anti-retroviral drugs that are used in the Brazilian Aids Programme. But until today it has not done so despite the fact that the Aids programmes budget is increasingly under pressure.

Today 80 % of the budget of the Aids National Programme's for ARVs is spent on imported patented drugs. 70% is spent on the purchase of four patented drugs, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Tenofovir, Efavirenz and Nelfinavir. Brazilian public and private companies are only producing 7 out of 16 drugs that are used in the tri-therapy while there is capacity to produce all of the needed medicines.

Since 15th of March 2005 the Minister of Health is in negotiation to obtain a voluntary license from Abbott, Gilead and Merck respectively for Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Tenofovir and Efavirenz. The Minister of Health gave that day an ultimatum to Abbott, Gilead and Merck to transfer the technology of production to Brazilian Public Laboratories. Should the companies not be willing to do this on a voluntary basis, a compulsory license would be issued. In both cases a royalty would be paid to the patent holders.

Three weeks after the deadline set by the minister there is still no clear indication that the companies are willing to come to an agreement. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health has not taken action.

We fail to understand the lack of action by the Brazilian authorities. At the international level, Brazil is a key defender of the use of the flexibilities in TRIPS and the Doha declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. Still when it comes to taking action at home Brazil turns out to be a tiger with no teeth. The flexibilities in patent law are designed to give governments the tools to act.

We want Brazil to take action now by issuing compulsory licenses for the medicines that are needed to sustain its successful AIDS programme and to allow for the export of the medicines that are produced in Brazil to other developing countries who need them.

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