+ Access to medicines

NM, SM and LH v De Lille, Smith and New Africa Books

On Wednesday, 4th April 2007 the Constitutional Court handed down judgment on the case of NM & Others v Charlene Smith, Patricia De Lille, and New Africa Books. The case concerned the publication of the applicants’ full names and HIV status in the biography of Patricia De Lille, authored by Charlene Smith and published by New Africa Books, without their consent.

EN and Others v Government of the Republic of South Africa and Others (Westville)

Since October 2005 the TAC and the AIDS Law Project (ALP) have assisted HIV positive inmates at Westville Prison in acquiring ARVs that have routinely been refused to them by prison authorities. Situated in Kwazulu Natal, one of the provinces most severely affected by HIV/AIDS, Westville had steadfastly prevented TAC or other NGOs from conducting treatment workshops, treatment literacy programs, or any form of HIV awareness training.

Methodology for conforming with international benchmarks, 2006

Government Notice 2007 of 2005 (Government Gazette No. 28214 of 11 November 2005) calls for submissions – amongst other things – on a methodology for conforming with international benchmarks of the prices of medicines. According to the notice, the methodology will be determined and published by the Minister of Health (“the Minister”) in terms of regulation 5(2)(e) of the Regulations Relating to a Transparent Pricing System for Medicines and Scheduled Substances (“the pricing regulations”).

Disability Grants or Antiretrovirals – 2006

Disability grants or antiretrovirals? A quandary for people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Article by Chloe Hardy and Marlise Richter published in the African Journal of AIDS Research Volume 5 (1) 2006.

According to the Department of Social Development, disability grants are available to adult South African citizens and permanent residents who are incapacitated and unable to work due to illness or disability.

A number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PWAs) have accessed disability grants once they have fulfilled the criteria set down by the Department of Social Development. Current government policies entitle PWAs, a least in theory, to access antiretroviral medications. Where PWAs have been able to access antiretroviral treatment (ART) through the government’s antiretroviral programme, this has led to an improvement in their health and subsequent disqualification for a disability grant.

Appropriate dispensing fee, 2005

In an advertisement placed in the Sunday Times (dated 23 October 2005 and entitled “Call for Submissions”), the Pricing Committee invited “interested parties to provide input on an appropriate dispensing fee as envisaged in terms of section 22G of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, Act No. 101 of 1965” (the Medicines Act). In particular, the advertisement called for interested parties to “provide input on all issues that are relevant to the determination of an appropriate dispensing fee.”