quinta-feira, 17 de maio de 2007

Big Pharma faz acordo com genéricos na América Latina

Quando a ideologia supera a boa informação e a análise fria da realidade, bobagens são faladas como se fossem manifestação de sabedoria suprema. Médicos e jornalistas que rapidamente foram defender a Big Pharma no caso efavirenz com certeza desconhecem a importância enorme do mercado latino americano e, as mudanças importantes ocorridas nos Estados Unidos depois da vitória democrata em novembro, como esse blogue antecipava já em outubro. A Big Pharma não precisa de defensores tupiniquins, porque conseguem se adaptar muito bem aos novos tempos. Um exemplo é o acordo que está sendo selado para exportação de genéricos para Panamá, Peru e Colômbia, mas com manutenção de patentes. Abaixo, resumo da reportagem do The Wall Street Journal, acima gráfico mostrando a importância da América Latina e, a distribuição de contribuição da Big Pharma entre Republicanos e Democratas. Trade Deal, a Shift on Generics Agreement Opens the DoorTo Cheaper Drugs Abroad, Easing Some Patent Rules By SARAH LUECKMay 17, 2007; Page A4 WASHINGTON -- A new trade agreement between Congress and the White House contains provisions that open the door to more sales of generic drugs in developing countries. The plan, reversing earlier gains for American drug makers backed by President Bush, marks the first big setback for the pharmaceutical industry since Democrats claimed Capitol Hill. For now, the provisions likely only affect pending trade deals with Peru, Panama and Colombia. But the plan also signals a broader shift as congressional leaders give greater weight in trade talks to providing cheaper medicines for the poor, even if it means denying the Republican-friendly drug industry some of the protection it says it needs. The administration "has permitted the weakening of intellectual-property protections in these agreements," said Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug industry's main trade group, in an interview. "They were desperate to get continuing trade authority" from Democrats in Congress, he said. "The fact is, their leverage changed since November." The main focus of the bipartisan trade deal, announced last week, involves requiring U.S. trade partners to meet new standards for giving their workers labor rights and ensuring environmental protections. But the deal also allows developing countries more flexibility in dealing with U.S. drug makers than they would have had under earlier versions. Specifically, the policy would ease requirements on developing-country regulators to prevent the sale of patent-infringing products. It also releases trading partners from a requirement to extend the time for patent protections as a form of compensation for delays in drug approvals. Public-health advocacy groups have argued for years that U.S. trade policy under Mr. Bush often protected brand-name drug makers at the expense of poor countries in need of more-affordable treatments. Many of those groups said they weren't satisfied with last week's deal. Even with the changes, they say, the Peru and Panama deals advance many of the protections the drug industry wants -- just fewer than would have existed if the Bush administration had stuck with its earlier trade stance. "Compared to the many steps backward that have been taken since 2003, this is a bit of relief for people who want access to affordable medicines," said Ellen Shaffer, co-director of the Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health in San Francisco. "Compared to an actual policy that would provide affordable medicines for people and fairly balance that with innovation, it is a small step forward." Trade is just one of many fronts where the pharmaceutical industry faces a less friendly policy environment, after enjoying strong support during years of undivided Republican rule. Some Democrats want to rewrite the Medicare prescription-drug benefit to allow the government to negotiate lower prices with manufacturers. Some Democrats also want to legalize imports of cheaper medications from Canada and other countries. The Bush administration has maintained its support for the industry on those issues, and the Senate has blocked those policy changes.

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