TAC responds to big pharma plan to derail patent law reform in South Africa

Today the Mail & Guardian published a story entitled – “Motsoaledi: Big pharma’s ‘satanic’ plot is genocide” regarding leaked documents revealing that the international pharmaceutical industry planned a $450,000 campaign against the proposed patent law reforms in South Africa. In reaction the Treatment Action Campaign’s General Secretary Vuyiseka Dubula made the following statement:

“The Treatment Action Campaign is outraged over what appears to be a covert and well-funded plan from the foreign pharmaceutical industry to delay an essential law reform process in South Africa. It takes us back to the turn of the century when 39 pharmaceutical companies took President Nelson Mandela and the South African government to court to try to stop legislative reform to improve South Africa’s ability to access affordable life-saving medicines. Now, just weeks after his death, foreign pharmaceutical companies are coordinating another major attack on this right.

We call for the urgent finalisation and release of the Department of Trade and Industry’s long awaited Intellectual Property Policy. Any further delays are unacceptable and will have far reaching impact on the provision of public health. We will not allow foreign industry to derail this national process, especially in such a secret and underhanded way.The TAC fought before and we will fight again now to protect the Constitutional rights of all people in South Africa.”



For media enquiries please contact:

Vuyiseka Dubula – TAC General Secretary

+27 82 763 3005

Lotti Rutter – TAC Senior Researcher

+27 81 818 8493