Abbott and Brazil come to terms on Kaletra

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Abbott will reduce the price of AIDS drug Kaletra in Brazil, and Brazil won’t break the patent to make Kaletra on its own. Without agreeing on a specific price per tablet, the two sides agreed to keep the Ministry of Health’s annual expenditures on Kaletra at current levels for the next 6 years, even though Brazil plans to dramatically expand the number of people receiving the drug. If the next generation of Kaletra (Meltrex) is approved by the FDA, Brazil will have access to it.

The issues of access, intellectual property, and first- world and third-world price controls are ongoing. This deal needs to be seen in that overall context rather than as simply an AIDS drug/Brazil specific issue. In fact, the structure of this deal may be similar to what we’ll see in Medicaid, as US states struggle to contain expenditures without sacrificing access.

July 11, 2005

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