The access of impoverished Brazilians to essential medicines, including those required for treatment of HIV/AIDS, is under threat. International pharmaceutical firms, with the backing of the United States government, are trying to ensure that Brazil has to buy the expensive patented drugs that they manufacture, rather than have access to the cheaper generic drugs that the country is making for itself or could buy from countries such as India. The companies are also resisting tighter price controls on their products. Oxfam believes that higher prices for medicines will cause unnecessary sickness and death among the sixty million Brazilians living in poverty, and calls on the US government and the companies to stop putting pressure on Brazil to change its policies.
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