CNN.com (09.26.01) - Wednesday, September 26, 2001
Brazil announced on Tuesday that it had won enough support
from more than 50 countries to include public health on the
agenda at the next meeting of the World Trade Organization
(WTO) in Qatar.
During three days of negotiations in Geneva, Brazil actively
sought countries to rally behind its proposal to discuss drug
patents and health services at the November meeting, its
Health Ministry's AIDS department said. In a press release,
the ministry said that the measure was approved "despite
resistance from some countries, principally the United States
and Japan, which are opposed to the discussion of medications
patents and public health on the WTO agenda."
Brazil itself has fought for greater access to drugs and
health care for developing countries, even threatening to
violate patents on AIDS drugs. Instead, it has won deep
discounts on them. The country hopes that the 142-member WTO
defines its position on the issue in Qatar.