Brazil to Produce Generic Version of Merck's Antiretroviral Efavirenz
September 18, 2008
Brazilian Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao on Wednesday said Brazil will begin producing a generic version of Merck's antiretroviral efavirenz, the AP/USA Today reports. Brazil in May 2007 issued a compulsory license to produce a lower-cost version of the drug after rejecting Merck's offer to sell the drug at a 30% discount, which would have lowered the price from $1.57 per dose to $1.10 per dose. Brazil had asked Merck to reduce the cost of efavirenz to 65 cents per dose (AP/USA Today, 9/17).
Temporao said that the announcement is a "historical mark for Brazil's pharmaceutical industry and Brazil's public health," adding that it "could be the basis for future innovative initiatives." Temporao said that the health ministry wants Brazil to be "treated and seen in a strategic way" by the pharmaceutical industry. According to Reuters, About 200,000 people in Brazil are receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS, 80,000 of whom take efavirenz (Nicolaci da Costa, Reuters, 9/17).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.