A number of people concerned about the proliferation of untested medicines on the South African market have written an open letter to the Medicines Control Council.
Please contact Roy Jobson of Rhodes University for queries about the letter.
According to the letter:
"Manufacturers and marketers of these products continue to submit their information in terms of the expired call up. This information continues to be accepted by the Medicines Regulatory Affairs Cluster of the Department of Health. As a consequence the products are freely marketed without any regulatory oversight. This is an unfortunate and regrettable failure of the MCC’s statutory obligation to ensure that the availability of medicines and related substances are in the public interest."
TAC is pleased to report two positive developments that all but bring the Matthias Rath saga to a conclusion:
The state court in Cologne has rejected the case of the doctor Mathias Rath. Rath had accused the SWR (German TV channel) of false reporting in its prize winning documentary, “The Fall of Dominik”. Specifically, Rath claimed that the documentary’s assertion that the youth had “a gigantic tumor in his lung” was incorrect.
The court made it clear that the SWR and its codefendant, author Beate Klein of Report Mainz, observed the journalistic principal of due diligence, since they had oriented themselves on a postmortem report conducted at the behest of state lawyers, as well as on several medical opinions that agreed with it. The “farthest reaching agreement among the various reviewers suggests that it represented a reliable source.”
Rath’s assertion that there could not be a tumor in Dominik’s left lung, no less a “gigantic tumor”, because while he was alive, Dominik’s left lung supposedly collapsed completely as a result of a puncture, did not convince the judges in Cologne. The judges countered Rath, saying that this could not be proved from the documents that were submitted during the trial.
The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA) has ordered Rath to withdraw his unsubstantiated claims following a complaint by TAC.
There are three ASASA rulings against Rath. They can be found here.
The British Advertising Standards Authority has forced Rath to remove his advertising for treatments as they were unsupported by evidence and misled the public.
The Food and Drug Administration in the USA has cautioned Rath for advertising some of his products in contravention of US law.
The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA) has upheld a complaint by the Treatment Action Campaign against an advertisement for fraudulent treatment for HIV which appeared in the Sowetan newspaper on 6 June 2008. You can download a copy of ASASA’s ruling here.
The advert in question, placed by Gogo’s Traditional Medicines (GTM), claimed inter alia that:
These products, marketed together as a package in five litre quantities, were advertised for sale “for only” R1500.
On 12 to 14 March 2008, the court action initiated by TAC and the South African Medical Association (SAMA) against Matthias Rath and the Government of South Africa will be heard in the Cape High Court. This court case is critical for the rule of law as it relates to the Medicines Act.
This morning, about 30 members of the TAC, most living openly with HIV, gathered at St Georges Cathedral in Cape Town and proceeded to hand over a complaint against Christine Qunta, her associate Freddie Isaacs and the company Comforter's Healing Gift to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Cape Law Society. Two TAC members also went to Qunta Incorporated's offices in the Reserve Bank Building to give Chr
Judgment will be handed down in TAC and Others v. MEC for Health, Western Cape and Others in Cape High Court at 10:15am Tuesday, 26 June 2007.