Ditaduras são uma "beleza para a saúde pública". Basta um decreto e, pronto, encerra-se a questão. Bem, estamos na democracia com poderes legislativo e judiciário e, ministério público, imprensa livre e com convenções internacionais em vigor. A Tailândia suspendeu a patente do Plavix (pós-infarto do miocárdio e acidente vascular cerebral) e do Kaletra (HIV). O Brasil é citado como país que bateu firme e, conseguiu redução do preço do Kaletra. Detalhe para influência da indústria farmacêutica indiana nessa decisão. Abaixo, trechos da reportagem do The Wall Street Journal.
Thailand Suspends Patents on Two Drugs By NICHOLAS ZAMISKAJanuary 29, 2007 1:48 p.m. HONG KONG -- A decision by Thailand's new, military-installed government to increase access to drugs by suspending patent protections on a heart-disease treatment and an HIV medication highlights a growing tension over intellectual-property rights versus public-health interests. The decision was criticized by the pharmaceutical industry, which said Bangkok is considering allowing copycat versions of more drugs in the near future. The government's move was notable partly because it included the heart medicine, expanding the realm of drugs over which such conflicts have typically occurred. Thailand's Ministry of Health confirmed Monday that the government had approved the sale and production of cheap, generic versions of Plavix, the blood-thinning drug originally developed by Sanofi-Aventis SA, of Paris, and now co-marketed in several countries with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, and the HIV treatment Kaletra, made by Abbott Laboratories, of the U.S. World Trade Organization rules allow a government to unilaterally declare an emergency and make or sell patented drugs without the permission of the drug companies.
In fact, a government's ability to suspend a company's drug patent can prove a powerful bargaining chip in reducing prices. In July 2005, for instance, Brazil reached an agreement with Abbott that lowered the price of Kaletra while preserving the company's patent on the drug. Indian generics makers, which for years have benefited from that country's lax patent laws, stand to benefit from the Thai decision. Bangkok is considering making its purchases from Hetero Drugs Ltd. and Cipla Ltd., both of India, according to Thawat Suntrajarn, director general of the Ministry of Health's department of disease control.
Dr. Thawat said the government's move will cut the price of the HIV drug Kaletra in half, reducing the monthly cost per patient to about 3,000 Thai baht ($89.55) or less. At current prices, the government can afford to provide medicine to only one-fifth of the 500,000 people living with the HIV virus in Thailand, Public Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla told the Associated Press, adding that the ministry was willing to talk to the companies about importing their drugs at cheaper prices.