Eighteen years after the Durban conference, government efforts to increase medicine access – beyond HIV treatments – have been excruciatingly slow. Though ARVs are now widely available, many more shocking cases of injustice in access to essential medicines remain.
Over the past 15 years, HIV activists in South Africa have won significant victories to secure affordable access to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through challenging patent monopolies. The cost of a…
DON’T TRADE AWAY OUR HEALTH – PHARMA ATTEMPTS TO UNDERMINE SOUTH AFRICAN PATENT LAW REFORM & ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE MEDICINES Johannesburg/New York, August 13, 2015: A submission to the United States…
Cabinet recently resolved to ask Parliament to take the necessary steps to enable South Africa to ratify a decision taken by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on intellectual property and access to medicines. At its meeting held on 16 March 2011, Cabinet decided to request Parliament to –
– ratify the WTO decision on the implementation of paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health; and
– deposit “an instrument of ratification … with the WTO.”
As organisations that are committed to ensuring universal access to essential medicines, as an integral part of the constitutional right to have access to health care services, TAC and SECTION27 call on Parliament not to ratify the decision. In this press statement we explain why we make this call.
After stalling for some time, negotiations for an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) on the one hand and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Mozambique and Angola on the other have recently restarted. According to an article published in Business Day on 10 February 2011, Xavier Carim – Deputy Director-General for international trade at the Department of Trade and Industry – is reported to have indicated that the EPA “should strike a balance between the levels of market access, regional harmonisation of rules, customs co-operation and safety, enforcement of intellectual property laws, competition, investment and procurement.”
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), SECTION27 and Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) South Africa voice support for their partners across the world opposing provisions in a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union (EU) that threaten the sustainable supply of affordable medicines to millions of people in the developing world.
In our submission to the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on the draft Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research Framework, we noted that “[w]hile we continue to advocate for the development of an intellectual property framework in South Africa that generally facilitates access to essential products, our primary concern is that the legislation and regulations . . . that will result from this process make particular provision for ensuring access to the products of research that were developed using public resources.”
The AIDS Law Project (“the ALP”) takes this opportunity to thank you and the Innovation Fund’s Intellectual Property Management Office for facilitating and hosting the provincial consultation workshop held in Cape Town on 30 March 2006. My colleague Fatima Hassan and I found the event to be extremely useful in understanding the context within which the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) from Publicly Financed Research Framework (“the policy framework”) is situated. In addition, it provided us with an opportunity to float, consider and refine our formal submissions on the policy framework.