On 18 October, Foreign Affairs featured a profile on the Fix the Patent Laws campaign authored by Fran Quigley. Below is an excerpt from the article:
Back in Johannesburg, Mary-Jane Matsolo is wrapping up the training. It has been a whirlwind tour through the TRIPS agreement, South Africa’s problems, and the legal models in India. “Are we still there?” she asks.
The advocates nod, but several look a bit dazed. “This is a steep learning curve for me,” Greeff admits later. “But it is good to be in a group: it is a lonely place to advocate on your own.”The group concludes its sessions by devising a plan to collect patient stories from their different disease areas, co-sign an editorial on patent law reform, and send letters to members of Parliament.
“These are exciting times, man,” Matsolo says later. “For years on these medicines issues, it’s been TAC, TAC, TAC. Now we can say, Hello, it’s not just TAC speaking.” She continues, “Look, we know that pharma is a huge well-oiled machine. That means we need to be an even bigger well-oiled machine. Our job is to show people the connections. Because once they get it, the passion, the drive, the fight, the anger’they all come out. We are in the right, and we will be a force to be reckoned with.”
The full article can be read at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/south-africa/2015-10-18/bitter-pill