South Africa ground zero for reforming drug patents

Monday, March 24, 2014

The government of South Africa is squaring off against drug makers over patent reform in the lead-up to national elections on May 7, citing a “massive disease burden” from HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, cancer and heart diseases.

At issue is a proposed national policy that would limit the number of pharmaceutical patents granted in the country and relax restrictions on sales of generic drugs, which the government says will cause prices to “fall drastically.”

According to the Draft National Policy on Intellectual Property issued last September and now being finalized before submission for Parliamentary ratification, the government aims to “adopt a common and united stand … on improving access to medicines.”

Source: CMAJ (link opens in a new window)

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Health Care
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drugs, global health, governance, healthcare technology, pharmaceutical industry