BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house of Congress on Tuesday approved the main text of a bill that will allow patents for the production of vaccines and medicines to be broken in cases of a public health emergency or national state of emergency.
The bill authorizes Congress to pass a law to break patents without the executive’s approval or support.
As the bill was changed – lawmakers approved a revised text – the proposal now goes back to the Senate for a second reading. Aecio Neves, the bill’s sponsor in the lower house, said there is cross-chamber support for the bill in its current form.
“There is an understanding that the changes … we introduced in the bill will also be incorporated in the Senate, which will maintain the text that we have negotiated here,” Neves said.
The government opposes the bill.
(Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)