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May 4, 2007

Brazil Busts Sustiva Drug Patent

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva issued a “compulsory license” today to make an inexpensive generic version of HIV med efavirenz available nationwide, despite Merck’s patent on the product as Sustiva. Yesterday the government rejected Merck’s offer to sell the drug at a 30% discount. Merck issued a statement saying, “This expropriation of intellectual property sends a chilling signal to research-based companies about the attractiveness of undertaking risky research on diseases that affect the developing world.”


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