Fix The Patent Laws

International pressure to Fix the Patent Law in South Africa grows

Posted on | October 16, 2013 | No Comments













As the public consultation on the Department of Trade and Industry’s Draft National Policy on Intellectual Property moves into its final few days there has been a wave of support from organisations, academics and experts across the globe. As it stands over 50 international organisations, across six continents have signed an open letter to the DTI calling for crucial reforms to South Africa’s patent law that will improve access to affordable medicines across the country. The deadline is still open until the end of the day for any interested parties to show their solidarity with the campaign.

That isn’t all.  In addition UNDP released a significant study entitled ‘Using Law to Accelerate Treatment Access in South Africa which focuses on policy options surrounding patent, competition and medicines law affecting access to HIV treatment and other essential medicines. The reforms, which mirror and extend upon the demands made by the Fix the Patent Law campaign are aimed at safeguarding public health by optimising the use of public health related TRIPS flexibilities as legally allowed under international law. The report is a useful policy tool for the DTI to reference as it embarks upon the process of finalising the National Policy.  The recommendations of the report are aimed at both promoting access to medicines, but in addition to develop and support policies conducive to the growth and development of the domestic pharmaceutical industry.

The international community has shown overwhelming support for our campaign to ensure South Africa is able to realise the right to health – we have even set up a social media event to allow anyone to be part of the action! Check out our Thunderclap and join the noise online! And don’t forget to follow the action tomorrow with live updates from @FixPatentLaw and via #FixPatentLaw


Leave a Reply

  • 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