Brazilhas the biggest public health system in the world, the SUS, which is the result of social mobilization and an expression of solidarity and equity. To make the constitutional right to health a reality and secure SUS’ sustainability, civil society fought for free distribution of essential medicines to all. Many lives now rely on these public health policies. However, dramatic increases on the price of medicines constantly put everything at risk.
As a group of treatment activists, networks of people affected by HIV/Aids and human rights defenders, GTPI (Working Group on Intellectual Property of the Brazilian Network for the Integration of Peoples) has witnessed how pharmaceutical patents can draw the line between life and death for millions of people. Therefore, robust practices of citizenship and democracy are crucial to reverse this process of extreme exclusion.
Over the last 3 years, ABIA (Brazilian Interdisciplinary Aids Association), which is the secretariat of GTPI, has intensified its efforts to challenge underserved patents and reduce prices of key drugs using a variety of tactics. ABIA/GTPI has also strengthened collaboration with partners in Ukraine, Thailand and Argentina under the Make Medicines Affordable campaign, coordinated by ITPC-Global and funded by UNITAID.