Statement of Interfarma - Brazilian Research-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association
- on Bill 22/03
June 2, 2005
Due to today's publication of articles on the national press addressing Bill 22/03 approval by the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Committee of the House of Representatives, which specifically includes drugs for AIDS prevention and treatment among non-patentable inventions, created by Representative Roberto Gouveia (PT-SP), the following explanation becomes necessary:
Interfarma - Brazilian Research-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association - believes that the non-compliance to the Brazilian Patent Law creates a barrier to the introduction of new investments in the internal market. Furthermore, such a behavior would not bring the so-pursued solution to the issue of AIDS treatment access.
- The Bill mentioned above, even approved by the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Committee of the House of Representatives, will be submitted to the approval of the Federal Senate. Should this be approved, it will be delivered for President's sanction, and only upon this it shall be in force;
- This Bill does not break the drugs patent for current AIDS treatments, once this right remains assured by the Patent Law # 9279/96. Thus, the new law will only prevent the introduction of new drugs for the treatment of AIDS within national market, if approved;
- This Bill is an unnecessary resource once the Brazilian Drugs Patent Law addresses the compulsory license for exceptional cases;
- This fact should constitute retrogression to Brazil, both from the political and economical point of view, and would certainly damage the Country's image within international scenario. Additionally, it would certainly cause the suspension of investments by research laboratories in the local market;
- It is worthy to highlight that the clinical manifestations resulting from the HIV virus are very complex, since the virus develops resistance to drugs. With the patent protection withdrawal of antiretrovirals for AIDS treatment, there will be a reduction of the availability of new products. This will jeopardize the quality of life of disease bearers and consequently, will result on a reduction of their survival rates;
- Between 1989 and 1996 there was a 12-fold increase on survival rates for AIDS patients, from six to 58 months. Current information reveal that AIDS patients survival rates now exceeds 100 months, which constitutes an important advancement on disease treatment, assuring quality of life for the patients and allowing the patient to resume his/her professional and family activities;
- Between 1997 and 2001, drugs for AIDS treatment prevented more than 90 thousand deaths and, in the same period of time, a reduction of 54% on government expenditures was reported for each patient with HIV virus;
- The new antiretrovirals for AIDS treatment achieved a 6-fold reduction on the average number of patient's hospitalization between 1997 - 2001, resulting in savings on the order of about US$ 3.3 billion to public budget regarding hospitalizations and outpatient care;
Patents assure increasing investments in research and development (R&D) for new drugs. Just to have an idea, in 2003, global pharmaceutical industry invested 18% of total sales amounts in R&D, which corresponds to US$ 45 billion. Pharmaceutical industry is one of the highest investor industries when compared to other areas, such as electronics (6%), telecom (5%) and automotive (4%).
Without patent protection, patients would be highly unlikely to receive such new drugs with proven quality, effectiveness and safety. The continuous investments in research and the creation of new products designed for improving population's quality of life and saving lives are only warranted by the patent-exclusivity period granted to the pharmaceutical manufacturers.
We remain at your disposal for any additional information that may be required.
Presidente Executivo da Interfarma
Associação da Indústria Farmacêutica de Pesquisa
Informações à Imprensa:
Lídia Andreatta - gerente de Comunicação da Interfarma
Fone: (11) 5180.2386 / celular: 9975.5555
Andréa Moraes -
assessora de imprensa Ketchum Estratégia
Fone: (11) 5096.4334 ramal 236 / celular: 9965.6227.6227