Fix The Patent Laws

TAC debunks pharma’s myths around patent law reform

Posted on | October 10, 2013 | No Comments

As the Fix the Patent Laws campaign gains traction and South Africa moves closer towards the kind of intellectual property reform that will vastly improve access to affordable medicines, a number of claims are being publicised by the pharmaceutical industry and their allies seeking to protect their business interests. The purpose of this myth-buster is to clarify that adopting legal TRIPS safeguards will not only support public health efforts but also benefit local industry and economic development.

The evidence highlights how South Africa’s current intellectual property system allows exploitation by foreign companies while impeding the growth of our local industry. In addition, the paper highlights the flaws in pharma’s claim that protecting health in South Africa will inhibit the development of future medicines. Big pharma has systematically evaded investing in needs driven innovation for neglected diseases and developing country disease burdens, while simultaneously forcing developing countries to uphold patents blocking access to life-saving medicines.

You can find the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) mythbuster here.

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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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