A victory for pharmaceuticals


Otto Licks and Marcela Trigo de Souza

After a judicial battle of almost a decade, the pharmaceutical industry has regained the right to market vaccines with trademarks in Brazil.

In a landmark decision rendered on December 15, 2010 in Sindusfarma v ANVISA, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision and a preliminary injunction declaring the unconstitutionality of a rule of law dating from the 1970s: Article 5, § 4, of Law No. 6,360.

This provision states that “drugs containing a single well-known active ingredient, at the discretion of Ministry of Health, and immunotherapeutic drugs and pharmaceutical raw materials must be identified by their generic names provided in the Brazilian Pharmacopeia and cannot, under any circumstances, have marks or fantasy designations”.

The decision is a leading case in terms of both trademark and food and drug laws.

Pharmaceuticals, Brazil