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Uncertainty over patents casts a shadow over Brazil pharma sector

PR-Inside brings news of the most recent Companies and Markets report on the pharmaceutical market in Brazil. According to this report, the wider economy’s resilience to the current world economic crisis means that the market is still expected to achieve robust of 15.5% growth in 2008, following 21.4% growth in 2007. Increased government spending on medicines (particularly vaccines) and the continued growth of the generics market are expected to contribute to an average five-year growth rate of 9.7% in US dollar terms (7.1% in local currency terms) to 2012, when the market is expected to reach a value of US$26.6bn. The report addresses IP rights too:

"Perhaps the greatest challenge for the Brazilian pharmaceutical market remains uncertainty over patents.

In September 2008, the Brazilian Patent Office rejected a patent application by Gilead Sciences for its antiretroviral (ARV) Viread (tenofovir). Back in April, the government had declared Viread to be ´of public interest´. The application was also the focus of NGO opposition. The Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (AIBA) and an Indian patient advocacy group have opposed the company’s patent application for the drug in India. Another potential threat is a warning by the Brazilian government that it would break the patents of US companies in retaliation for the US refusing to adhere to a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling on cotton subsidies".

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