Medindia

X

Brazilian President Silva Issues Compulsory License for Merck's Antiretroviral Efavirenz

by Medindia Content Team on  May 8, 2007 at 6:36 PM Drug News   - G J E 4
Brazilian President Silva Issues Compulsory License for Merck's Antiretroviral Efavirenz
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday issued a compulsory license to produce a lower-cost, generic version of Merck's antiretroviral Efavirenz, the AP/Forbes reports.
Advertisement

World Trade Organization regulations allow governments to declare a "national emergency" and issue compulsory licenses on any grounds without consulting the foreign patent owner. Brazilian Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao late last month signed a decree declaring that the country would purchase from an India-based drug maker a generic version of Efavirenz if Merck did not offer the drug at a lower price. According to the decree, Efavirenz is a "public interest" medicine.

Advertisement
Temporao at a news conference last month said the country did not issue the decree "as a threat, nor to lower the price of other medicines, but to guarantee its program of attending (AIDS) patients."

Brazil gave Merck seven days to negotiate a lower price for the drug. Officials from the Brazilian Ministry of Health last week rejected an offer from Merck to sell Efavirenz at a 30% discount in the country, an unnamed spokesperson with the ministry said on Thursday. Brazil asked Merck to reduce the cost of Efavirenz to 65 cents per dose from $1.57 per dose.

An unnamed source said that Merck offered to sell the drug for $1.10 per patient daily, but Brazil rejected the offer. Merck sells Efavirenz for $1.80 per daily dose in most middle-income countries.

According to the AP/Forbes, a generic version of the drug would save Brazil about $240 million by 2012, when Merck's patent on Efavirenz expires.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
LIN/V
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All

More News on: