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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Brazil Wins Support for Health on WTO Agenda
September 26, 2001 (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.