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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
Brazil gets cut-price Aids drug
By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo

Image of pills and bottles (generic)
Brazil has reached similar deals after threatening to break patents
Brazil has accepted an offer from a manufacturer of an important anti-Aids drug to cut its price by around 30%.

The deal with Abbott over its drug Kaletra was hailed by Brazil's health minister as an example to other companies around the world.

In May, it broke the patent on another Aids drug and now imports a cheaper generic version from India.

Drug companies are increasingly sensitive about the willingness of developing nations to break patents.

Abbott says it is also offering to cut prices for 45 middle and lower-income developing nations.

Policy praised

The move will save Brazil around $10m (4.95m) a year.

Brazil did this for the first time earlier this year, and is now importing cheaper generic versions of the drug Efavirenz from India.

Thailand has also bypassed a number of patents as well.

However on this occasion, an agreement was reached, a development that was welcomed by Health Minister Jose Gomez Temporao.

He said it would be very promising if other companies were to follow the example of Abbott Laboratories.

Brazil has been widely praised for its approach to combating HIV and Aids, which includes providing free drugs to patients.

The policy is thought to have cut Aids-related deaths by half, while producing huge savings in hospital costs, our correspondent says.

Brazil to break Aids drug patent
04 May 07 |  Americas
Thailand takes on drugs giants
26 Apr 07 |  Asia-Pacific
New Aids drugs 'soaring in cost'
01 Dec 06 |  Special Reports
Brazil reaches drug patent deal
09 Jul 05 |  Americas

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