Fix The Patent Laws

TAC paper responds to inaccurate industry claims following the pharmagate scandal

Posted on | February 13, 2014 | No Comments

“The Economic & Social Case for Patent Law Reform in South Africa”

Lotti Rutter and Catherine Tomlinson

This updated research paper from the Treatment Action Campaign seeks to respond with reasoned analysis to a number of inaccurate claims that have been made by the pharmaceutical industry, particularly following the PharmaGate scandal. The evidence highlights how South Africa’s current intellectual property system allows exploitation by foreign companies whilst impeding access to medicines and the growth of our local industry. Additionally, the paper demonstrates that there is little evidence to back up industry claims that the adoption of public health safeguards in South Africa will undermine the development of future medicines.

The reforms proposed by the Department of Trade and Industry in South Africa are not radical. They are moderate, legal, rationale reforms acknowledged by global institutions including the WTO, WHO and WIPO. Nothing in the proposed reforms to South Africa’s Patent Act will do a way with patents. Truly innovative new treatments will still be patentable. Instead, what the Fix the Patent Laws campaign seeks is a more rational patent regime that takes into account South Africa’s health, developmental, social and economic needs. A regime that is based on relevant evidence rather than ideology.

You can access the research paper here: The Economic and Social Case for Patent Law Reform in South Africa.

For more information please contact:

Lotti Rutter

Senior Researcher – Treatment Action Campaign

+27 81 818 8493

lotti.rutter@tac.org.za

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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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