[rumori] brazil, patents, more

From: Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 13:50:53 PDT

May 4, 2001


Brazilian President Defends Breaking
Of Patents to Guarantee Public Health

Associated Press

BRASILIA -- President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on Thursday defended
Brazil's policy of ignoring medical patents to guarantee public health,
intensifying a dispute with the U.S. over patent rights.

"We're not here to challenge and break patents at any price," Globo Online
agency quoted the president as saying at the inauguration of a bridge 220
miles south of Brasilia, the nation's capital. "But I want to affirm that
if it is for the health of our people, we won't hesitate [to break

The statement comes after the Bush administration released a report on
patent protections that put Brazil and several other countries on notice
that they could face U.S. trade sanctions unless they remove objectionable
trade barriers to U.S. products.

The U.S. government and many pharmaceutical companies object to
announcements by Brazil's government that it may produce generic copies of
AIDS drugs in cases where the government finds prices to be excessive.

The U.S. has criticized parts of Brazil's patent law that call for a
compulsory licensing of patents in the case of "economic abuse of patent
rights." On Feb. 1, the U.S. asked the World Trade Organization to form a
panel to check whether Brazil's patent law discriminates against drug
imports in violation of the rights of drug companies.

"Brazil will not budge one millimeter in everything that is of interest of
our country and our people," Mr. Cardoso said.
1Brazilian Officials Lash Out at U.S. Stance on AIDS Drugs (May 3)

Paulo Teixeira, who heads Brazil's anti-AIDS program, said Wednesday his
government was "very surprised" that Mr. Bush has toughened the U.S.
position on Brazil's policy of producing cheap generic drugs.

Brazil so far has only made copies of AIDS drugs not protected by patents
in Brazil. The government has for more than four years provided an AIDS
cocktail free to anyone who needs it.

The Brazilian program -- praised by doctors as a model for developing
countries -- has reduced AIDS deaths by 50% to 70%, Mr. Teixera said.
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