Open Market: Industry will present rule to Anvisa to avoid clone


Source: Folha de S. Paulo, 24/03/2008

Abimip (Brazilian Association of the Non-Prescription Drugs Industry) is working on drafting a standard that will be presented to Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) so that manufacturers of generic drugs are prohibited from copying packages from industries that manufacture prescription drugs. brand. For the entity, the practice violates the copyright and trademark law.

"Companies invest in packaging and communication, are copied and have to spend years in court to have their trademark rights respected", says Sálvio Di Girólamo, secretary general of Abimip. "The Ministry of Health is one of the few that are not part of the National Anti-Piracy Council, of the Ministry of Justice."

Anvisa says that it will receive the standard and will analyze it, but understands that this is just a commercial fight between the manufacturers of medicines.

"We do not want the law to be broken, but the agency is only interested in whether the packaging causes any confusion from the health point of view," says Dirceu Raposo de Mello, president of Anvisa.

For Girólamo, however, the consumer can be misled, due to the similarities. Another serious point mentioned by him concerns the promotions that some laboratories make with pharmacy clerks. By attaching stamps or flaps for the packaging of medicines offered to customers - usually of similar medicines -, they win sales incentive awards.

"The State has abdicated its duty to inspect and some companies occupy space at the point of sale with promotions and bonuses", says Girólamo.

Mello recognizes that the problem exists and is serious because it implies risk for the patient. "Bonuses in this sector are not only a matter of inadequate pharmaceutical practice, but of ethics", says Mello. "The problem, however, has already been more serious and has been decreasing with the performance of health surveillance."

Losses in the informal sector, according to Etco (Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics), are R $ 2 billion annually. The value is equivalent to 25% of the companies' revenue per year. "In addition to pocketing the R $ 2 billion, the government could offer better quality health if there were political will," says Girólamo.