Fix the Patent Laws

TAC, SECTION27, and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched the Fix the Patent Laws (FTPL) campaign in November 2011 (on the 10-year anniversary of the Doha Declaration). Since then, the campaign has grown to include nearly 50 organisations representing a range of disease areas including cancer, sexual health, non-communicable diseases and mental health. The aim of the FTPL campaign is to reform South Africa’s outdated patent laws so that access to medicines is not unnecessarily limited in South Africa. There are a number of legal safeguards (TRIPS flexibilities) available in international law that have not yet been written into South Africa’s national laws. Section 27 of the Constitution of South Africa obligates the state to implement such law reforms.

TAC will continue to put pressure on the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (dtic), the Department of Science and Technology, and other relevant structures to force the urgent reform of our intellectual property laws.