Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« The Old Stuff | Main | Buy! It's More Expensive Than Usual! »

October 12, 2005

The Undefeated Brazilian Team

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

I wrote earlier this year about the showdown between Abbott and the Brazilian government over the price of the antiretroviral Kaletra. After several weeks of rumors, the deal has been struck. And as far as I can see, Abbott did most of the caving in.

Kaletra will now be down to 63 cents a dose in Brazil, down from the previous $1.17. It's interesting to note that back in the summer, press reports had the Brazilian government asking for a price of 68 cents. I don't know if the latest figure reflects a further price break or inaccurate earlier reporting. The new price is less than the American one by a factor of four or five, and this deal sure isn't going to send the price here any lower. In the end, money will be transferred from Abbott's existing customers to the government of Brazil.

This looks like another victory for the "Lower your price or we'll break your patent" strategy that Brazil has used before. They've never gone through with the threat, but it's clearly a real one. Abbott has apparently decided that it's better to make 63 cents a pill in Brazil than to make nothing, and (worse yet) to have Brazilian generic drug makers cranking Kaletra out for the rest of the world. And they've got a point there, of course, even after assuming that this deal could set off more price negotiations in other countries.

But this is worth thinking about next time you hear about the evils of pharmaceutical patents - you know, licenses to print money and all that. There is a trump card, and it's just been played again. Back into the deck it goes until it's needed

(Much, much more on drug pricing can be found in the blog archive here. This very point about national health plans and price-setting came up, for example, in this post from February of 2004.)

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (2) | Category: Drug Prices


COMMENTS

1. Anon on October 14, 2005 9:25 AM writes...

If Brazil did break someone's patent like this, how easy would it be for their generic companies to sell to the rest of the world? I guess my question is, how big a break in the dam would this be? I realize that there's an official and an unofficial export channel for these things, though. . .

Permalink to Comment

TRACKBACKS

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Undefeated Brazilian Team:

Killing the Goose from Monkeys and Typewriters
...Brazil was threatening to break Abbott's patent on Kaletra if they didn't come down on the price. Abbott has now caved. As much as that sucks, I can't say that I blame them. And so, U.S. drug consumers continue to subsidize pretty much the rest... [Read More]

Tracked on October 13, 2005 3:31 PM

Channeling Goldstien from Galen's Log
Brazil: We're awfully sorry about killing your prize goose there.* US Pharma: Brazil: In our defense, we were pretty hungry. You know? US Pharma: Brazil: We made an omlet with some of the leftover eggs. Want a bite? [Read More]

Tracked on October 14, 2005 6:42 PM

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
Conference in Basel
Messed-Up Clinical Studies: A First-Hand Report
Pharma and Ebola
Lilly Steps In for AstraZeneca's Secretase Inhibitor
Update on Alnylam (And the Direction of Things to Come)
There Must Have Been Multiple Chances to Catch This
Weirdly, Tramadol Is Not a Natural Product After All
Thiola, Retrophin, Martin Shkrell, Reddit, and More