In Amsterdam, the representatives of the State of São Paulo Forum on NGO/AIDS (FOAESP), the Bem-Me-Quer Project and the National Networking of People Living with HIV/AIDS of the State of São Paulo (RNP+SP), manifested through a public note, their support to the Ministry of Health on their decision of acquiring generic drugs to treat hepatitis C, as well as it happened to some medicine against HIV. In the letter, the Organizations stressed that “the purchase of genetic drugs or compulsory license of patent protected medicine – whether in Brazil or abroad – are the only alternative to guarantee the access to treatment for thousands of citizens in need of those drugs to access cure.” Presented and personally filed by the director of the Ministry of Health Department on STS, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis, Dr. Adele Benzaken, the document may be read below:
PUBLIC NOTE ON SUPPORT TO THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH DECISION TOWARDS THE TREATMENT OF HEPATITIS C
In order to celebrate the World Hepatitis Day, the State of São Paulo Forum on NGO/Aids (FOAESP), the Bem-Me-Quer Project (PBMQ) and the National Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS of the State of São Paulo (RNP+SP), hereby declare they are completely in agreement with the Ministry of Health decision towards the treatment of hepatitis C in Brazil.
Recently, the Ministry of Health has approved the purchase of generic drugs instead of brand-name drugs to treat hepatitis C. As a consequence of the decision, the Government is under pressure of the Pharmaceutical Industry to keep paying more than U$ 4,200 per treatment.
WE ENCOURAGE the Ministry of Health decision on acquiring generic drugs against hepatitis C. Generic drugs have biochemical equivalence to their brand-name counterparts, manufactured by patent-holding industries, they are tested and must fulfill the exigencies of the World Health Organization and are regulated by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).
WE REINFORCE that the purchase of generic drugs and/or the compulsory license of patented drugs – whether in Brazil or abroad – are the only alternative to guarantee the access to hepatitis C treatment for thousands of individuals seeking for cure.
WE BELIEVE in the effectiveness of generic drugs. Due to the compulsory license of efavirenz and other generic antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV, Brazil has reduced AIDS mortality rate.
WE REFUSE, moreover, any pressure, first and foremost when they come from the pharmaceutical industry, reinforcing that they do not concern about human lives, but profits. Health is a human rights, not a trade.
The Netherlands, Amsterdam, July 26, 2018.
Rodrigo Pinheiro José Roberto Pereira Paulo Giacomini
FOAESP PBMQ RNP+SP