BRAZIL, ARGENTINA AGREE ON DRUG PRODUCTION ACCORD
The health ministers of Brazil and Argentina are shortly expected to sign a new accord on the production of drugs for key diseases including HIV/AIDS. The agreement between Argentine regulator Anmat and Brazil's Anvisa also envisages co-operation on treatments for locally prevalent diseases such as Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis and tuberculosis.
The deal -- expected to be signed on Aug.22 -- comes in the wake of Brazilian threats to break patents on ARVs and a growing trend toward lax enforcement of patent rights in Argentina. Initially, officials will study private and public sector participation in the scheme, as well as outlining measures to harmonise treatment protocols and manufacturing quality standards. It is likely that leading Brazilian state-owned drugmaker Farmanguinhos, which has been named as one key producer likely to eventually assume output of patented ARVs, will be involved in the plans.