Fix The Patent Laws

TAC intervention leads to important legal advance: public interest concerns are relevant in determining interim interdict in patent cases

        On 26 July 2012, the Supreme Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the matter between the Aventis group of pharmaceutical companies and Cipla’s group of generic pharmaceutical companies. This is the first judgment to decisively say that public interest considerations must be taken into account when balancing the interests […]

International patent laws fail the poor: UN commission

An important  United Nations commission has made a number of recommendations for law reform relating to intellectual property and access to medicines. Notably, the commission recognises that the current international patent regime does not serve the interests of the poor. The report, entitled “HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health” was published this month […]


By Mara Kardas-Nelson, Access & Innovation Officer, MSF South Africa The Indian government is being taken to court. After the country’s patent office rejected a patent application filed for imatinib mesylate, branded Gleevec or Glivec, the drug company Novartis filed for legal action against the government of India over the country’s strict patentability criteria as […]

Join our march in support of India, against Novartis

TODAY at 13:00 South African health activists, academics, medical doctors, government representatives, and lawyers will gather in Cape Town to rally against the legal case by the drug company Novartis against the government of India. The outcome of the case will have far-reaching impacts and activists from India and South Africa speaking at the rally […]

  • 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

  • Latest tweets