Joint Statement by TAC and SECTION27 on access to medicines

SECTION27 and the TAC have released a statement highlighting recent improprieties by pharmaceutical companies and calling for more vigilance from all stakeholders in ensuring that we meet the goals of the National Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS, TB and STIs.

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SECTION27’s submission to the Health Profession Council of South Africa on guideline tariffs for medical and dental services

Read the submission SECTION27 made recently to the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) on guideline tariffs for medical and dental services. S27 Submission on HPCSA Ethical Tariff

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Report: Civil Society meeting on the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and voluntary licenses

On 9 – 10 November 2012, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), SECTION27 and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) brought together global treatment activists to discuss guiding principles and access maximising provisions for terms and conditions that should be sought in the licenses negotiated by the MPP and others.

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Report: Emergency Intervention at Mthatha Depot: The hidden cost of inaction

In early December, the Mthatha medical depot – serving more than 300 medical facilities in the North-eastern region of the Eastern Cape for medical supply needs – faced severe supply and delivery disruptions of life-saving HIV and tuberculosis [TB] treatment for over 100,000 patients. Stripped of 70% of its workforce due to suspensions in a labour dispute, the faltering management of the depot collapsed and critically compounded existing stock shortages at the depot, hospitals and clinics in the area. Orders had not been processed, supplies not received and, ultimately, drugs not dispensed to patients most in need. As a result, the danger of treatment interruption for HIV and TB patients was a perilous reality.
After Section27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) received pleas for help from distressed health care workers on the ground and with the consent of the responsible health authorities, MSF and TAC started a coordinated response. MSF hired a temporary workforce and cleared the backlog of drug orders by coordinating stock reception, order processing and deliveries to affected facilities. TAC set up and maintained a drug stock-out hotline and monitoring network to help prioritise essential drug delivery to clinics. The Department of Health complemented the MSF/TAC intervention by sending three experienced pharmacists to assist at the Mthatha depot. Read the full report here

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Press statement: Systematic Problems in Drug Supply Have to be Addressed Now to Avert Future Crisis

After responding to a drug distribution crisis at Mthatha medical depot between 7 December and 24 January, the medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is handing all activities back to Eastern Cape health authorities. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will mobilize 25 volunteers to assist in the handover

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OPENING REMARKS BY MARK HEYWOOD AND VUYISEKA DUBULA TO GLOBAL ACTIVIST MEETING ON THE MEDICINES PATENT POOL (MPP) AND VOLUNTARY LICENSES

We are joined today by over 40 activists from all parts of the world, including organisations of people living with HIV, MSF, as well as individual experts and lawyers who have fought for the rights of people to access affordable quality medicines. In this room is the residue of experience from the many successful battles that changed the landscape of the response to HIV and in doing so has prevented millions of deaths.

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TAC intervention leads to important legal advance: public interest concerns are relevant in determining interim interdict in patent cases

On 26 July 2012, the Supreme Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the matter between the Aventis group of pharmaceutical companies and Cipla’s group of generic pharmaceutical companies.

This is the first judgment to decisively say that public interest considerations must be taken into account when balancing the interests of the patentee and the infringer in determining whether or not to grant an interim interdict. The judgment is an important advance in the law that is in line with the values of the Constitution.

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The United States Supreme Court upholds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

SECTION27 applauds yesterday’s decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Act is President Barack Obama’s comprehensive health care reform legislation. It has the potential to enable the United States to achieve a goal that all countries, including South Africa, should strive toward: universal health care that is both high quality and affordable. In other words, quality health care for everyone.

The question for South Africans becomes: what lessons should South Africa take from this?

Read the entire statement by clicking “read more” below

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1,000 HIV activists take to JHB streets for US$2 billion needed to save millions of lives

US, UK & Australia have to maintain Global Fund support to avert crisis

JOHANNESBURG, 22 March – Today over 1,000 southern African activists from a coalition of organisations take to the streets of Johannesburg in a march to demand key international donors lead an urgent response to plug a US$2 billion treatment funding gap, so that countries across Africa can scale up their HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria programmes and avert countless unnecessary deaths.

NOTE EDITORS
– New science presented in 2011 (HPTN 052 study) shows that ART not only save lives, but also prevents new HIV infections. Putting people on treatment earlier therefore reduces their chances of infecting others by up to 96%. This heads off not only the spread of the HIV epidemic, but also a looming resurgence in TB and drug-resistant TB.
– Up to 70% of TB patients in southern Africa are also infected with HIV.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS CONTACT:
Kate Ribet, Communications Officer, MSF SA
kate.ribet@joburg.msf.org | +27 79 872 2950 | www.msf.org.za

Borrie la Grange, Head of Communications, MSF SA
borrie.lagrange@joburg.msf.org | +27 83 287 5294 | www.msf.org.za

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