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Merck & Co., Inc. Statement on Brazilian Government's Decision To Issue Compulsory License for Efavirenz (STOCRIN)
  WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., May 4, 2007 - Merck & Co., Inc. issued the following statement today on the Government of Brazil's decision to issue a compulsory license for STOCRINş (efavirenz):
"Merck is profoundly disappointed by the decision of the Government of Brazil (GOB) to issue a compulsory license for STOCRINş (efavirenz), which would break Merck & Co., Inc.'s patent and make it possible for efavirenz to be produced by a generic manufacturer.
"Merck has attempted to negotiate in good faith with the GOB, but a fair offer on STOCRIN has been rejected. While we remain flexible and committed to exploring a mutually acceptable agreement with the Brazilian government to help the country achieve its objective of universal access to treatment, we believe their action is not in the best interests of patients in Brazil and around the world.
"Merck continues to share with the GOB the common objective of improving the health and welfare of those living with HIV/AIDS. In fact, Merck's global HIV pricing policy offers Brazil access to both STOCRINş and CRIXIVAN at the lowest price of any country with a comparable wealth and disease burden.
"This expropriation of intellectual property sends a chilling signal to research-based companies about the attractiveness of undertaking risky research on diseases that affect the developing world, potentially hurting patients who may require new and innovative life-saving therapies.
"Research and development-based pharmaceutical companies like Merck simply cannot sustain a situation in which the developed countries alone are expected to bear the cost for essential drugs in both least-developed countries and emerging markets. As such, we believe it is essential to price our medicines according to a country's level of development and HIV burden, thereby ensuring equitable access as well as our ability to invest in future innovative medicines. As the world's 12th largest economy, Brazil has a greater capacity to pay for HIV medicines than countries that are poorer or harder hit by the disease.
"This decision by the GOB will have a negative impact on Brazil's reputation as an industrialized country seeking to attract inward investment, and thus its ability to build world-class research and development.
"Merck hopes the government of Brazil will reconsider its stance in the interests of HIV patients around the world."
About Merck
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit
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