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New Public-Private Partnership Will Allow Brazil To Produce Patented ARV For National Treatment Program

For the first time, Brazil in 2013 will enter into a new type of public-private partnership that allows the nation to produce a generic version of the antiretroviral (ARV) drug atazanavir sulphate, which will be under patent through its producer Bristol-Myers Squibb until 2017, Inter Press Service reports. Under the “productive development partnership,” Farmanguinhos, “a technical-scientific unit of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the Health Ministry’s largest pharmaceutical laboratory,” will make the drug, one of 20 ARVs the government distributes at a cost of about $425 million annually, according to the news service.

Brazil Health Minister Alexandre Padilla said, “The important thing about this partnership is that it will give us a greater degree of sovereignty in the production of a medication, because the technology will be incorporated by our country, and there will be savings as well, since the medicine will be offered to the government at a reduced price,” IPS notes. “‘It’s an important symbolic process,’ Dirceu Greco, the director of the Health Ministry’s Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, AIDS and Hepatitis (DDST), told IPS, referring to the five-year agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which will represent some $200 million in savings for Brazil,” the news service writes. Greco noted atazanavir will be the 11th ARV produced in Brazil, IPS adds (Frayssinet, 12/6).