Brazil continues to negotiate AIDS drug prices with multinational pharmaceutical laboratories. At the moment, it looks like a deal will be reached with Abbott, which manufactures Kaletra.

    If Brazil is able to get a 50% discount, which is what the Ministry of Health is demanding, the country could economize US$ 339 million over the next six years.

    According to Minister of Health, Saraiva Felipe, when a deal is reached with Abbott, the government will begin talks with two other laboratories, Merck, manufacturer of Efavirenz, and Gilead, manufacturer of Tenofovir.

    "Brazil would like a license to manufacture these retrovirals here domestically," says Saraiva Felipe. "The Clinton Foundation has offered us a copycat Tenofovir made in India at US$ 0.85 a capsule. The brand name Tenofovir by Gilead costs US$ 7 a capsule," explains the Minister.

    "Our AIDS program is recognized as one of the most successful in the world. But we have to constantly negotiate prices in order to keep it viable. We have to bargain for each of the 17 drugs in the AIDS cocktail," said the Minister.

    ABr

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