Title: Brinkmanship and compulsory licensing policy lessons from Brazil

Authors: Angela Amondi Wasunna

Addresses: The Hastings Center, 21 Malcolm Gordon Road, Garrison, NY 10524, USA

Abstract: Approximately 660,000 Brazilians were living with HIV/AIDS in 2003, with an adult prevalence of 0.7%. Brazil currently provides free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for 158,000 people, which is 40% of the total people on free ARV treatment globally. Brazil also produces 8 out of the 14 drugs required for its national AIDS treatment programme. In an increasingly restrictive Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) environment, multiple factors – political, legal and socio-economic – have enabled Brazil to take advantage of the threat of compulsory licensing. Today, Brazil is not only one of the main producers of generic drugs for HIV/AIDS, but it also has a successful government-administered programme. As United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan noted recently, |Brazil is one of the few countries where programs to combat the epidemic are succeeding|. Brazil has improved access to HIV drugs by strategically exploiting the exceptions under the TRIPS agreement, thus offering valuable lessons for countries combating HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: Brazil; compulsory licensing; Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; TRIPS; HIV/AIDS; antiretrovirals; ARV treatment; generic drugs; government policy; HIV drugs; AIDs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBT.2007.013046

International Journal of Biotechnology, 2007 Vol.9 No.2, pp.105 - 121

Published online: 06 Apr 2007 *

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