Measure Seeks to Undermine Protected Property Rights

WASHINGTON, DC – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation’s leading taxpayer advocacy group, today declared Brazil’s recent legislation on drug patents unacceptable and called for the United States Trade Representative’s Office to set up efforts to crackdown on piracy. The recent legislation specifies that the Brazilian domestic pharmaceutical industry cannot be prosecuted should they break drug patents – costing U.S. companies billions in lost revenue.

Brazil’s lower house unanimously passed this legislation, which is now on the fast track to the upper house and eventually to the Brazilian president’s desk. This bill would render drugs used to treat AIDS ‘non-patentable’, meaning entire classes of medicine to treat conditions like tuberculosis, hepatitis and pneumonia would be impacted by this bill.

“We are especially alarmed over the impact this bill would have on innovation and the creation of new life saving drugs,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “Theft is theft. And Brazil’s support of such thievery undermines all protections of physical and intellectual property.”

In the U.S., intellectual property-driven industries account for approximately 10 percent of the U.S. workforce and up to 15 percent of U.S. GDP. It is essential that U.S. innovation, economy, and jobs are not challenged because of one country’s maneuvering around language in an international treaty for personal gain.

“The impact of this seizure of patents would have on the U.S. economy is clear and dangerous,” Norquist continued. “This threat underscores how important it is for USTR to ensure that decisions abroad do not harm Americans and their economy at home.”