les Nouvelles - June 2006

Holding Patents Hostage? The Need For HIV/AIDS Drugs In Poor Countries Threatens The Health Of International Patent Protection

Elizabeth Durham

On June 24 of 2005, the Brazilian government enacted legislation that would override Abbott Laboratories’ patent on Kaletra®, an anti-retroviral drug used to treat HIV and AIDS, and would enable generic production and sale of the drug at nearly half the price that Abbott currently charges. Abbott was given ten days from that date in which to respond to this legislation and enter negotiations with Brazilian health officials to reduce the price at which Kaletra® is sold in the country. Preliminary agreements on price reductions and technology transfer programs have been proposed, but no binding agreement has been reached as of the date of this article.

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