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Achieving AccessProfessional Movements and the Politics of Health Universalism$
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Joseph Harris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501709968

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501709968.001.0001

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Brazil: Constituting Rights, Setting Precedents, Challenging Norms

Brazil: Constituting Rights, Setting Precedents, Challenging Norms

(p.151) 6 Brazil: Constituting Rights, Setting Precedents, Challenging Norms
Achieving Access

Joseph Harris

Cornell University Press

How did Brazil become an international model for the treatment of AIDS? In a domain dominated both by human rights and battles over patent law, this chapter argues that an understanding of the contributions of professionals with knowledge in the law is central to understanding Brazil’s success. Amid competitive political dynamics that did not provide Brazilian policymakers with the luxury of entertaining dissident science (as happened in South Africa), this chapter highlights the critical role that newly empowered professionals with training in the law played in expanding access to AIDS medication in Brazil in the wake of democratization. This chapter explores how these professionals embedded new rights in the constitution; used positions in the state and ties to allies to increase funding for treatment and hold the state accountable; helped redefine the state’s relationship with pharmaceutical companies; and worked to embed new norms in international legal conventions.

Keywords:   Brazil, HIV/AIDS, treatment, pharmaceuticals, essential medicine, law, sanitarista, constitution, rights, democratization

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