Vuyani Jacobs, on behalf of the TAC, has lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority against an advert placed in the Mail & Guardian by the Dr. Rath Foundation and the Treatment Information Group. The complaint is supported by the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa.
In the next few days TAC members in Katlehong will bury Zandile Mazwani, a young woman of 33 from Gauteng. Zandile set an example to others by living openly with HIV.... Full Memorandum
Details of Country-Wide Demonstrations on 4 November 2004
Please note that TAC has not withdrawn its legal action or its claim that the Ministry of Health has a legal duty to have an implementation plan and to make it publicly available.
This analysis has been commissioned by the Centre for Civil Society(CCS). This is the work of the authors only and not necessarily the views of the CCS or TAC. However, the TAC believes this is an insightful and useful analysis, therefore we have placed it on our website.
The Treatment Action Campaign and Medecins Sans Frontieres (South Africa) note with concern that the Medicines Control Council (MCC) has had to use its powers to declare the use of the antiretroviral Duovir "undesirable" and to enforce a recall of all stocks of this medicine currently on the market. Duovir is the name of the product marketed by Cipla-Medpro that combines the antiretroviral medicines zidovudine (AZT) and lamivudine in a single tablet. The TAC and MSF call on Cipla-Medpro and its parent company based in India, Cipla, speedily and publicly to address the concerns of the MCC.
The People's Health Summit was held on the 2nd 4th July in East London, South Africa. The Summit was hosted by:
Detailed TAC statement on Nevirapine.
Newsletter on the release of the report and the People's Health Summit.
Brief report and memo handed over to US Consulates in South Africa.
TAC Welcomes the Implementation of the Medicines Amendment Act
The Treatment Action Campaign's annual report for the period March 2003 to February 2004 is available here.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) extends its condolences to Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, his wife, Princess Irene Buthelezi and their family on the premature loss of their son Prince Nelisuzulu Buthulezi who died of AIDS-related illnesses.
The openness displayed by the Buthelezi family will reverberate throughout KwaZulu-Natal, the province worst affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and beyond. Following the example of the late Comrade Walter Sisulu, Comrade Albertina Sisulu and their family, as well as, Mrs. Graca Machel and former President Nelson Mandela who disclosed the AIDS-related deaths in their families, Chief Buthelezi's openness sets an example for every family faced with bereavement in this epidemic.
Read the full statement here.
The Treatment Action Campaign welcomes the appointment of President Mbeki's new Cabinet.
Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has been reappointed as Health Minister. Her team now includes Deputy-Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge as a deputy-health minister. We welcome the new appointment. Our relationship with the national Health Ministry has been fraught with tension and confrontation. This is a chapter in our history that we wish to put behind us. Our work with MECs, health departments at national, provincial, district and facility level can only be strengthened with a commitment to delivery.
Read the full statement here.
25 March 2004
TAC Newsletter: On 10 March 2004, the Treatment Action Campaign formally demanded that the Minister of Health procure and emergency interim supply of antiretroviral medicines immediately. We warned that the failure to meet the deadline of 18 March 2004 would lead to urgent litigation. Read the press statement and TAC's response to the unsatisfactory reply from the Acting Director General here.
TAC Newsletter: To date, there are less than 2,500 people on the national ARV programme country-wide - and nearly all of them are in the Western Cape. The National Department of Health has admitted that it will miss its target for the end of March.
TAC believes the primary reason for the failure to meet this target is the Minister of Health's lack of political will. Her justification for delaying treatment is that the tender process for antiretroviral medicines is not complete and therefore these medicines will only be available in the public health system by the end of June.
But there are mechanisms in South African law allowing for emergency procurement without tender that the minister could use to secure an interim supply of ARVs. The TAC demands that the Minister does so.
TAC Newsletter: The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) expresses its condolences to Farida Omar and the family of Dullah Omar, South African Minister of Transport and Anti-Apartheid Lawyer. Minister Omar died early Saturday morning of Hodgkins Disease.
In prison, HIV/AIDS exacerbates existing problems and also creates new ones, yet the potential for far-reaching positive impact remains. Prisons are an intervention opportunity to reach a segment of the population, which is most likely to need government services related to HIV/AIDS and is also least likely to receive them through any other channel. Without an appropriate response to HIV/AIDS in prisons, the potential consequences will be increasingly tragic for both prisoners and the communities they come from. In this submission to the Jali Commission into prisons, TAC and the ALP point to the strengths and weaknesses of current policy and where changes must be made as well as how implementation can be improved.
Complaint submitted by TAC to Auditor-General regarding government funding of NAPWA.
The AIDS Law Project (ALP) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcome the opportunity to make written submissions on the draft pricing regulations. Again we express our support for the implementation of a transparent pricing system, which we believe has the potential significantly to increase access to affordable medicines for all people in South Africa.
While we recognise and support the principled basis underpinning the draft regulations, we are nevertheless of the view that in a number of key respects, the draft regulations do not give full and proper effect to the National Drug Policy of 1996, the Medicines and Related Substances Control Amendment Act, 90 of 1997, and most important, the constitutional right of access to health care services. If implemented in their current form, we believe the draft regulations will fall short of discharging the stateÕs positive constitutional obligations in respect of promoting the right of access to essential medicines. It is in respect of such matters that this submission is primarily concerned, particularly the failure of the draft regulations to give sufficient content and force to the transparent pricing mechanism in respect of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Read the full submission.
TAC Newsletter: The Minister of Health can and must immediately procure antiretroviral medicines for the treatment rollout. A brief explanation is included, as well as:
TAC Newsletter: The TAC has strongly welcomed the government's operational treatment plan for HIV/AIDS of November 2003. We also welcome the efforts being made by some provincial governments, including Kwazulu-Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape, to implement this plan. However, we are alarmed that this progress and the efforts of national and provincial government health departments and officials are being undermined by inaccurate comments by President Mbeki and Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. For example, in a live interview broadcast on 8 February, President Mbeki stated that no studies have been done using death data to determine AIDS deaths and that the only reliable death statistics we have are for road accident deaths. This is untrue. Read the full statement here.
TAC Newsletter: Tomorrow, the South African Medical Association will lead doctors on a march to the Opening of Parliament in Cape Town. While the The Treatment Action Campaign has not endorsed the march, it supports the demands of public sector health-care workers for better working conditions, including an end to post freezes, better remuneration and greater availability of medicines and diagnostics in clinics and hospitals. The TAC notes with concern media reports that the Minister of Health has threatened disciplinary action against doctors who participate in tomorrow's march. The TAC says that any health-care workers who have action taken against them for participating in tomorrow's march will have the full support of our organisation. Read the full statement here. ddtest
TAC Newsletter: The TAC National Executive Committee (NEC) met in Cape Town on 26 and 27 January. Representatives from TAC branches, Medecins Sans Frontieres, the AIDS Consortium, the South African Medical Association (SAMA), religious organizations, trade union federations and TAC funders participated in the meeting. Resolutions were passed on a number of issues. The most urgent of these are a campaign for a People's Health Service and actions to speed up Government's rollout of the operational treatment plan. Resolutions were also passed regarding the upcoming SAMA march to the opening of Parliament, prevention issues and the Yfm "Test Yourself" campaign to be launched following the death of Fana "Khabzela" Khaba.
TAC Newsletter: Efavirenz (Stocrin) is an essential antiretroviral patented in South Africa by MSD, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, the world's largest pharmaceutical company. At least one patient has defaulted following shortages of the paediatric formulation of efavirenz (Stocrin 50mg). In response, the Treatment Action Campaign has sent the letter included in the newsletter above to MSD. Furthermore, the TAC will hold a picket outside MSD's South African offices on 2 Februrary demanding that the company gives non-exclusive voluntary licences on a 5% royalty fee basis to any generic manufacturer that meets objective criteria for quality and manufacturing standards.
TAC Newsletter: Rian Malan's articles, in Noseweek and The Spectator, arguing that AIDS statistics are grossly exaggerated, have numerous technical errors, writes Nathan Geffen (TAC National Manager). One which appears in Noseweek and upon which most of his case with regard to the South African epidemic rests is so serious and obvious that it raises questions about Malan's basic competence as a research journalist -- or more disturbingly -- about his motives and integrity.