Fix The Patent Laws

Argentina introduces tougher standards for patentability. South Africa should follow suit.

This month, Argentina joined the ranks of countries making it harder to get a patent for ‘inventions’ which offer little to no real improvement over existing drugs. The detailed guidelines, issued jointly by Argentina’s patents office and health department, can be found here.[1] The guidelines instruct patent examiners to reject (with some exceptions) new use, […]

Can government walk the talk on patents and health? Good intentions at WIPO must be translated into action at home

This week (21-25 May 2012) the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva will discuss a proposal that was made by the South African delegation on behalf of the Africa Group and the Development Agenda Group. This submission essentially asks WIPO to assist developing countries to […]

Photos from TAC demonstration outside SCA

Yesterday, during the hearing on the Docetaxel patent infringement case, TAC members demonstrated outside of the Supreme Court of Appeal. The hearing has now concluded and we are awaiting a judgement from the court. Once a judgement is received, we will circulate it widely.  

Debate on South Africa’s use of the TRIPS flexibilities published yesterday on Druginfo Digest

Yesterday, while the Supreme Court of Appeal heard the arguments between Aventis, Cipla and TAC regarding whether to grant an interim interdict to prevent Cipla from producing generic docetaxel, an interesting debate on South Africa’s use of the TRIPS flexibilities was published on Druginfo Digest. The debate was ignited by the case and Anso’s article […]

Mail&Guardian discuss the Docetaxel patent challenge

Yesterday the Mail&Guardian published an article on the Docetaxel case. “The TAC and Section 27 have joined the fray in a face-off between Aventis Pharma and Cipla Life Sciences in a patent war over cancer drug Docetaxel.” The full article can be found here  

Patents vs Access to drugs

This article by Anso Thom was published on 14.05.2012. The original can be found at OPINION: Lifesaving drugs under disputed patents couldbecome more easily available in future depending on the outcome of a case before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

TAC to argue that the public interest and the right to access to health care services must be considered in patent dispute in the Supreme Court of Appeal

On 15 May 2012, the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear arguments in the case of Aventis Pharma SA and Others v Cipla Life Sciences and Others in the patent dispute over the cancer medicine Docetaxel (brand name Taxotere).  The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has been admitted to the proceedings as amicus curiae (friend of […]

Update on docetaxel patent infringement case

TAC has been admitted as Amicus Curiae in the docetaxel patent challenge between Cipla and Aventis. The case will be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, Free State on 15 May 2012.  Today SECTION27 filed the Heads of Argument on behalf of TAC which can be accessed here

  • About the Campaign

    fix the patent laws
    Fix the Patent Laws is a campaign co-founded by SECTION27, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in 2011. Since then, the coalition has grown to include 38 other organisations fighting together to push South Africa to amend its patent laws to prioritise public health. Through this blog we will highlight how amending South Africa’s Patents Act 57 of 1978 will reduce the cost of medicines, improving the health and saving the lives of millions of South Africans.

    The members of the Fix the Patent Laws Campaign are as follows: Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), SECTION27, the South African Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (SANCD Alliance), DiabetesSA, EpilepsySA, Marie Stopes South Africa, Stop Stock Outs Project (SSP), South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), Cape Mental Health (CMH), the South African Federation of Mental Health (SAFMH), Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders Alliance (SABDA), as well as the following members of the Cancer Alliance and Advocates for Breast Cancer: Breast Course 4 Nurses, Breast Health Foundation, Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Cancer Heroes, Can-Sir, CanSurvive, Care for Cancer Foundation, Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa (CHOC), Hospice Palliative Care Association (HPCA), Igazi Foundation, Look Good Feel Better, Love your Nuts, Lymphoedema Association of South Africa (LAOSA), Men’s Foundation, National Council Against Smoking, National Oncology Nursing Association of SA, Pancreatic Cancer Network of SA (PanCan), People Living With Cancer (PLWC), Pink Trees for Pauline, Pink Phoenix Cancer Foundation, Pocket Cancer Support, Project Flamingo, Rainbows and Smiles, Reach for Recovery, South African Oncology Social Work Forum (SAOSWF), The Pink Parasol Project, The Sunflower Fund, Vrede Foundation and Wings of Hope.

  • Read the TAC and MSF campaign pamphlet

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