Statement of the Brazilian Minister of Health

[English translation]
Brasília, 8 (Agência Saúde)

The Minister of Health concluded the negotiation with Abbott, started ten days ago, so that the company attends the public interest to promote a reduction of the price of Kaletra (Lopinavir+Ritonavir) guaranteeing the sustainability of the National Aids-STD Programme. The results reached guarantee the objectives proposed by the Ministry , assuring a significant price reduction of the medicine during the next six years, guaranteeing the access to the new formulation of Kaletra that will be launched worldwide in two years, and the realization of the technology transfer for the national production of this medicine.

The preocupation of the MoH in guaranteeing the price reduction was fully attended, succeeding in getting a reduction of at least U$ 18 million already next year, and a saving, in comparison to the current prices, of up to U$ 259 millions in six years. The agreement foresees also that the increase in the number of patients will not increase the yearly spending with the acquisition of Kaletra. Today, 23.400 patients of the programme receive Kaletra, and it is estimated that in six years, this number reaches 60.000.

The Minister also succeeded that the agreement guarantees the access to Brazilian patients to the new generation of Kaletra, Meltrex, that is in the registration process in the US and that will mean a bigger comfort for the users, as it reduces from six daily doses to one unique dose, besides the reduction of adverse events.

In the agreement, the MoH also made sure that the pediatric Kaletra is included, independently of the increase in the among of users. To finish, Abbott agreed in doing a process of technology transfer to Farmanguinhos so that it can produce the medicine. This process will start in 2009.

The ex-minister Humberto Costa, that leaded the whole process of negotiation, considered the deal a great step because it attends integrally the objectives proposed by the Ministry, guaranteeing the supply of the medicine for all the ones who need it, at a price capable of generating savings for the new ARVs that are being incorporated, without problems, in the coming years. Besides that, the price reached will be the more advantageous in the world, compared to what would be achieved with the purchase of the Indian generic medicine or even with the immediate local production. The ex-minister affirmed also that today, all the 170 thousand patients who use the ARVs can be relax. The Ministry has known how to use the mechanisms and instruments necessary and got the guarantee that Kaletra will keep being supplied, without any risk, and at the same time with the guarantee of future sustainability for the (Aids) Programme so that it can incorporate newer and better medicines.

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