Brazilian AIDS Groups Place Ad in Washington Post Backing Country’s Production of Generic Drugs
In an advertisement appearing in today's Washington Post, a consortium of Brazilian AIDS groups say, "Local manufacturing of many of the drugs used in the anti-AIDS cocktail permits Brazil to continue to control the spread of AIDS. The dru[g] industry sees this as an act of war. We see it as an act of life." The ad highlights a clip from the Jan. 28 issue of the New York Times Magazine, which stated, "AIDS is turning the third world's human landscape into a parched wasteland. Brazil has shown that, armed with the power of competition, a government can do more than sit and watch the desert encroach" (Washington Post, 6/21). Brazilian law requires drug firms to reduce the price of AIDS drugs and permits compulsory licensing of generic drugs if companies refuse. However, the United States earlier this year filed a complaint with the WTO over Brazil's policy, saying it violates international trade rules. The WTO has not yet ruled on the issue ( Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/30). The Post ad concludes, "The Brazilian Ministry of Health distributes the anti-AIDS cocktail free of charge for all those in Brazil who need it. The United Nations has called this the best AIDS prevention program in the developing world. 100,000 Brazilians have as a result been able to regain their dignity and quality of life. They have managed to return to work and their studies as well as to their families and friends and are able therefore to live an everyday normal life. We firmly believe that AIDS should not be a target for big business. Do you?" The ad is sponsored by the Brazilian National Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the Sao Paulo State AIDS/NGO Forum, the Latin American Network of WLWA, the Latin American Network of PLWA, the Latin American and the Caribbean Council of AIDS Services Organizations, the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, and the Brazilian STD/AIDS Program of the Brazilian Ministry of Health (Washington Post, 6/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.