Executive Director, Americas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
August 31, 2023
The U.S. Chamber continues to tackle health priorities in the Latin America region. Following the U.S.-Colombia Business Council health conference earlier this month, the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, the Global Initiative on Health and the Economy (GIHE), the Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation (GRC), and the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), organized a health conference in Brasilia, Brazil on August 29. Representatives from the private sector, patient groups, the U.S. and Brazilian governments met to discuss healthcare access, health technologies, intellectual property (IP) and innovation, and the role of Brazil in the Americas RISE for Health initiative and at the G-20.
The Chamber launched its “Partnership at the Digital Health Frontier” study in Brazil, which outlines ways the private sector can contribute to the development and equitable adoption of digital health solutions.
Leandro Saflate, Vice Secretary of Science, Technology and Strategic Products at Brazil’s Ministry of Health, and Julio César Castelo Branco, President of Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) were among the key speakers. Congressperson Adriana Ventura, and Senator Hiran Gonçalves, whose work to advance health agendas in Congress is widely known, were also in attendance.
Marta Díez, Country President at Pfizer Brazil and Vice-Chair of the BUSBC, opened the conference and pointed out that “Brazil’s United Health System is a major achievement of the Brazilian population and, through it, the possibility to access medicines, vaccines, and other health technologies. When the country faces an important demographic transition that shifts the epidemiological scenario and innovation demands, it is key to discuss the milestones necessary to respond to the increasing healthcare demands. The U.S. private sector stands ready to support Brazil in this demographic transition as well as in its objective to improve the healthcare economic-industrial complex to ensure the best healthcare possible for the Brazilian population.”
Companies like Roche, Elsevier, Janssen, Medtronic, and the Advanced Medical Technology Association were also represented at the conference.
Brazil will take over the rotating presidency of the G20 from India on Dec. 1, which will allow Brazil to set the tone for the organization’s work on public health next year. Renata Vasconcellos, Executive Director Americas, U.S. Chamber, stressed the need for Brazil and all G-20 countries to discuss prioritizing global health systems strengthening through the support for value-based healthcare, sustainable health financing, digital health, and addressing the burden of non-communicable diseases.
Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President, GIPC, stressed that with its leading role in the knowledge-based healthcare economy, IP standards are a competitiveness issue for Brazil, and that “The health innovation ecosystem thrives when robust and enforceable IP rights attract investment capital and facilitate contractual partnerships.”
The conference discussions yielded a set of recommendations as a U.S. Chamber collaborative effort to support the government of Brazil with the goal of broadening access to innovative healthcare for the Brazilian population.
About the authors
Renata Brandão Vasconcellos
Renata Brandão Vasconcellos is the Executive Director of the U.S.-Cuba Business Council and Senior Policy Director of the Brazil-U.S. Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.