Cost of AIDS drugs in Brazil, and more

November 12, 2007

Brazil's strategy of negotiating AIDS drug prices with multinational pharmaceutical companies and producing generic AIDS drugs locally saved that country's AIDS program approximately 1 billion US dollars between 2001 and 2005, according to research published in PLoS Medicine.

In a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, Amy Nunn and colleagues analyzed the costs of individual AIDS drugs in Brazil. They found that even though the generic drugs produced in Brazil were generally more expensive than similar drugs made elsewhere, by negotiating patented drug prices, Brazil has enjoyed lower prices for patented AIDS drugs than many other developing countries.

The researchers also analyzed aggregate costs of Brazil's AIDS drugs and found that Brazil's total AIDS drug costs have more than doubled in recent years and that the costs of producing generic drugs in Brazil has risen steadily over time. The study concludes that although the Brazilian model of producing drugs locally and negotiating prices initially saved Brazil $1 billion, drug costs rose rapidly as Brazil provided treatment to increasing numbers of people and the lives of people with HIV/AIDS became longer.

Although world leaders have set a target of universal access to AIDS treatment by 2010, little is known about the long-term costs of AIDS treatment in developing countries. Brazil's experience provides important information about how AIDS treatment costs are likely to evolve in other developing countries as efforts are made to provide universal access to life-saving drugs and as life expectancy for people living with HIV increases.

In 1996, Brazil became the first developing country to commit to providing free and universal access to AIDS drugs. Since then, Brazil's successful AIDS treatment program has become a model for the developing world, with 180,000 Brazilians receiving treatment at the end of 2006.

The study highlights economic consequences of Brazil's sometimes controversial policies. As a member country of the World Trade Organization that signed on to the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement, Brazil was required to recognize the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical companies' patented AIDS drugs. As Brazil scaled up treatment in the late 1990s, the cost of treating AIDS patients rose quickly and the country took controversial public policy steps to reduce the cost of providing treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS. Brazil produces eight non-patented AIDS drugs locally, and since 2001 has challenged five multinational pharmaceutical companies about the prices of several patented AIDS drugs. To induce price reductions for patented drugs, Brazil has threatened to issue compulsory licenses (which under WTO terms allow countries facing a health emergency to produce patented drugs without consent of the company holding the patent) and in May 2007 issued a compulsory license for efavirenz, an AIDS drug for which Merck holds patent rights.

Citation: Nunn AS, Fonseca EM, Bastos FI, Gruskin S, Salomon JA (2007) Evolution of antiretroviral drug costs in Brazil in the context of free and universal access to AIDS treatment PLoS Med 4(11): e305.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040305

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-11-nunn.pdf

Related image for press use: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-11-nunn.jpg

- Caption: FarManguinhos drug production facility in Brazil (Photograph by Amy Nunn)

CONTACT:
Todd R. Datz
Assistant Director for External Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-6017
United States of America
+1 617.432.3952
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu




THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH ARTICLE WILL ALSO BE PUBLISHED ONLINE:

Clinical protection from malaria closely associated with class of antibodies

Using data from malaria cases in Senegal, Pierre Druilhe and colleagues showed that the presence of a class of antibodies was strongly predictive of clinical outcome. There are important implications for vaccine research.

Citation: Roussilhon C, Oeuvray C, Muller-Graf C, Tall A, Rogier C, et al. (2007) Long-term clinical protection from falciparum malaria is strongly associated with IgG3 antibodies to merozoite surface protein 3. PLoS Med 4(11): e320.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040320

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-11-pdruilhe.pdf

CONTACT:
Corinne Jamma
Service de Presse/ Press Office
Institut Pasteur
25-28 rue du Dr Roux
Paris 75015
+ 33 (0) 1 40 61 33 41
+ 33 (0) 1 40 61 30 30
cjamma@pasteur.fr
-end-
About PLoS Medicine

PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org

PLOS

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.200852.

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.