Fix The Patent Laws

Call for sign on: Open letter from civil society, academics and experts to the DTI

Posted on | October 10, 2013 | 1 Comment

On September 4, 2013, the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published the Draft National Policy on Intellectual Property, 2013, for public comment. This draft policy is an important first step toward reforming the country’s patent laws to better ensure access to affordable medicines. Amendments to intellectual property systems may occur at a national level, but they have international ramifications. The pressure is high for countries to sign up to trade agreements that undermine legal flexibilities to protect the right to health. South Africa’s draft policy pushes back against such trends, and should be supported as a positive step toward striking a balance between recognising intellectual property rights on one hand, and protecting public health by promoting access and innovation on the other.

An open letter  to the DTI supports a number of proposed reforms in the draft policy, and offers specific recommendations for further improvements. The letter welcomes signatures from academics, experts, civil society and advocacy organisations working on intellectual property and global health issues, and the promotion of access to medicines. This letter, with listed endorsements, will be submitted to the DTI on Thursday, October 17th, which is also the deadline for any independent submissions.

To endorse this letter, please send the following information to by Wednesday, October 16th

Organisations please provide:

Organisation name


Academics/experts please provide:


Institutional affiliation (if applicable)




One Response to “Call for sign on: Open letter from civil society, academics and experts to the DTI”

    October 9th, 2017 @ 11:41 am

    […] global backing for South African reforms. Over 100 organisations and experts have signed on to an open letter to the DTI in the past week alone – supporting the changes called for by MSF, TAC, and […]

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  • 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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