Fix the Patent Laws

On the 10th anniversary of the Doha Declaration on public health (November 11 2011) TAC and Doctors without Borders (MSF) launched the ‘Fix the patent laws’ campaign. The aim of this campaign is to ensure better access to medicines by removing unnecessary and superfluous barriers to generic competition. More specifically, our aim is to ensure that South Africa’s patent laws get amended to strike a more sensible balance between the Constitutionally guaranteed right to health and the private interests of multinational pharmaceutical companies. The reforms we are campaigning for are all fully in line with World Trade Organisation rules and have already been implemented in other developing countries like India, Argentina and Brazil.
We had our first substantial victory in this campaign in September 2013 when the Department of Trade and Industry published the Draft National Intellectual Property policy. The draft policy contained many of the reforms that are required to better ensure access to medicines in South Africa. However, a year later, the policy has not yet been finalised. We will continue to pressure the DTI to finalise the policy. After that, we will keep on the pressure until new bills are presented and signed into law.
Learn about this campaign on our dedicated ‘Fix the patent laws’ blog.