Fix The Patent Laws

TAC calls on the DTI to set a new date for submission of the IP policy to Cabinet

Posted on | January 18, 2013 | No Comments

For over a year, TAC has eagerly been awaiting the release of the intellectual property (IP) policy for South Africa. TAC has closely followed the development of the policy as it will impact on the price of medicines in the future.

During a TAC/MSF meeting last year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced that the policy would be submitted to Cabinet on 5 December. But when Cabinet met on 5 December the IP policy was not on the agenda.

The DTI informed TAC and MSF that prior to the submission of the policy to Cabinet, a Committee of the Director-Generals from each government ministry must meet to review the policy. According to the DTI, this meeting did not take place in December, causing the delay in submitting the policy to Cabinet. At this time, the DTI informed TAC that the policy would be submitted to Cabinet during January 2013.

We have now been informed by Mr MacDonald Netshitenzhe, Chief Director of Policy and Legislation at the DTI, that the policy will only be submitted to Cabinet in early February. He did not, however, provide an exact date. TAC is concerned that the release of the IP policy will be further delayed, which will block a much needed discussion on the consequences of IP on access to medicines and public health in general. TAC therefore calls on the DTI to urgently set a date for submission.


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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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