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Commentary

Brazilís Aids Program: A Costly Success
Roger Bate, Richard Tren, AEI Online, 12-12-05

Bate and Tren argue that Brazilís AIDS program is not a good model for other countries to follow, since it puts downward pressure on intellectual property rights and incentives to research new AIDS drugs.

Although Brazilís AIDS treatment program has recorded many notable successes, the aggressive stance that the country has taken in threatening drug patents and forcing down drug prices could weaken incentives for long-run development of new drugs. The government of Brazil has abused the spirit of international agreements such as the Doha Declaration to secure lower drug prices, even though these agreements were intended to secure lower prices for the poorest nations dealing with health problems like HIV/AIDS.

Brazilís almost unique circumstances among countries attempting to deliver increased amounts of ART - with its large and growing economy and relatively minor HIV prevalence - mean that it is not a model that can or should be replicated elsewhere. Poor nations attempting to save lives through an ART program and by preventing the spread of HIV should reject the aggressive anti-intellectual property and anti-pharmaceutical company stance that, in a resource-poor setting, is unlikely to be helpful in either the short or long term.


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