Threat to break patents saves Brazil $1bn in cost of HIV treatment

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 22 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1065
  1. Michael Day
  1. London

    Brazil's policy of bargaining with drug companies over the cost of antiretrovirals—and flouting some international patents—saved the country $1bn (£0.5bn; €0.7bn) between 2001 and 2005, a study has found.

    The researchers, from the Harvard School of Public Health, decided to carry out a detailed analysis of the cost of drugs for HIV in Brazil because they thought that little was known about the long term costs associated with providing highly active antiretrovirals to HIV patients in developing countries (PLoS Medicine 2007;4(11):e305 doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040305). Brazil has free and universal access to antiretrovirals and is considered a model for other countries trying to boost their public treatment programmes.

    Brazil's policy is credited with having helped reduce …

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