MEDIA INVITE: PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

FIX THE PATENT LAWS CAMPAIGN 

TUESDAY MARCH 11 – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) offices, PRETORIA

THURSDAY MARCH 13 – Parliament, CAPE TOWN

Health activists to demand completion of South Africa’s Intellectual Property Policy outside DTI offices, Pretoria and Parliament, Cape Town.

Over 2,500 health activists across the Western Cape and Gauteng will march on the DTI offices in Pretoria and Parliament in Cape Town to demand that South Africa fix its intellectual property laws to improve access to affordable medicines in the country.

Activists are asking the DTI to resist pharmaceutical industry pressure and complete the National Policy on Intellectual Propertybefore the general elections, in line with the government’s Constitutional obligation to take legislative measures to realise the right to health. 

BACKGROUND:

The patent law reform process has been underway in South Africa for over six years. In September the Department of Trade and Industry released the draft policy for public comment. Both the pharmaceutical industry and civil society were able to submit comments on this draft policy. The DTI must now finalise this policy before sending it to Cabinet.

The Fix the Patent Laws campaign – run by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SECTION27 – has been working since 2011 to pressure the South African government to amend its Patents Act to include legal safeguards to increase access to more affordable medicines.

DETAILS FOR BOTH MARCHES WILL BE SENT ON MONDAY 10 MARCH.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS, CONTACT:

Kate Ribet, Media Liaison Officer, MSF SA

kate.ribet@joburg.msf.org | 079 872 2950