Media are invited to a National Summit on Intellectual Property (IP) and Access to Medicines organised by the “Fix the Patent Laws” campaign (led by the Treatment Action Campaign and a coalition of 13 civil society organisations) in Pretoria, on Monday, 20th October 2014.
One year after the public comment period closed on the draft policy, the government has yet to produce a final policy that will prevent abusive practices by pharmaceutical companies. This coincides with mounting pressure from US industry on South Africa to protect US intellectual property rights in exchange for its renewed participation in the lucrative African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) preferential trade scheme.
The Summit will therefore request government representatives to update attendees on the status of finalising the National Intellectual Property Policy and whether it will withstand industry pressure to enact progressive laws that uphold peoples’ constitutional right to access healthcare services, including affordable medicines.
Confirmed speakers from government include:
- Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi
- Deputy Director General for Consumer and Corporate Regulation, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Zodwa Ntuli
- Chief Director for Policy and Legislation, DTI, Macdonald Netshitenzhe
Media will hear from individuals directly affected by the current patent system, including
- patients who are paying over R12,000 a month for XDR-TB drugs
- clinicians unable to prescribe their patients optimal treatment due to patents
- international experts in the field of intellectual property and access to medicines.
Date: Monday, 20 October
Time: 10:00 – 16:00
Venue: Arcadia Hotel, 515 Johannen Ramokoase Street, Pretoria 0083, (012) 326 9311
To RSVP, arrange interviews or for further information, please contact:
Mary-Jane Matsolo, TAC’s National Campaigner