+ Access to medicines

High Court rules in favour of the Medicines Control Council


On 15 November 2011 the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of the Medicines Control Council (MCC) and others in a matter concerning Adcock Ingram’s resistance to the MCC’s decision to cancel the registration of drugs containing dextropropoxyphene (DPP). The MCC made the decision in April 2011 after coming to the conclusion that the drugs pose a danger to the public. Previously the state attorney, purporting to act on behalf of the MCC and others, entered into a settlement with Adcock Ingram that allowed the company to continue selling the drugs. This settlement was made an order of court. On 15 November 2011 the court set aside the settlement.

The case is important because it has resulted in the removal of products from the market that the MCC and other stringent drug regulatory authorities have deemed unsafe. Importantly, it reaffirms the MCC’s statutory and constitutional duties to protect public health by ensuring that medicines are safe and basing its decisions on the available evidence. The judgment rightly places the health and safety of the public over profits of the pharmaceutical company. company.

Report on access to treatment and corruption in Zimbabwe

People living with HIV in Zimbabwe continue to be confronted with corruption and impediments in accessing treatment (which is seldom talked about in our setting). Funders and donors are often not aware that a large proportion of their investment is lost to corruption which is rampant in the health system. The majority of the victims are poor people who live on less that 100USD per day and are expected to pay a significant proportion of their salary on this monthly “corruption tax”.

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.

Patents Amendment Bill, 2005

The AIDS Law Project (ALP) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcome this opportunity to make written submissions on the Patents Amendment Bill [B 17 – 2005] (“the Bill”). As two organisations that have consistently advocated for the development of our patent system into one that considers South Africa’s competitive advantage and takes into account the specific needs of its people, we support what the Bill aims to achieve and, in general terms, how it goes about accomplishing its stated objective.

Draft Regulations to the Medical Schemes Act, 2004

Section 27(2) of the Constitution imposes on the state a positive obligation to take reasonable measures to realise the right of access to health care services for all. By enacting the Medical Schemes Act, 131 of 1998 (the Act), government has created a powerful framework for the effective regulation of the private medical scheme industry.