[Ip-health] South African Cabinet Approves New Intellectual Property Policy

Yousuf Abdoola Vawda VAWDAY at ukzn.ac.za
Fri May 25 01:17:35 PDT 2018


While the final policy approved by cabinet has not been released, it is clear that the Department of Trade and industry was able to successfully pilot its draft policy phase 1 on the essentials, that is, to ensure that a pro-public health IP policy is now official government policy. It did so despite intense lobbying and media onslaught by the Pharma lobby and its praise-singers in academia, business and the mainstream media. Among the key features likely to be included in the policy are: the introduction of substantive search and examination of pharmaceutical patents, phased-in opposition procedures, public health-based grounds for compulsory licences, and expedited procedures for parallel importation and compulsory licences, among others. These measures will facilitate access to cheaper medicines through both local production and importation of quality generics. 

Government will have to demonstrate its intent by following up this landmark policy decision with draft legislation and attendant regulations, without further delay.

Best,

Yousuf.


Professor Yousuf A Vawda
Honorary Research Fellow 
School of Law, 
University of KwaZulu-Natal
South AfricaVawda





-----Original Message-----
From: Ip-health [mailto:ip-health-bounces at lists.keionline.org] On Behalf Of Francisco Rossi
Sent: 24 May 2018 10:58 PM
To: Peter Maybarduk <pmaybarduk at citizen.org>; Claire Waterhouse <Claire.WATERHOUSE at joburg.msf.org>; ip-health at lists.keionline.org
Subject: Re: [Ip-health] South African Cabinet Approves New Intellectual Property Policy

At the time to add to this congratulations for all the people involved I  would appreciate a lot some elaboration on  i plications-consequences of this very important movement. Very important for South Africa but also for all of us.


Hug



Francisco Rossi




________________________________
De: Ip-health <ip-health-bounces at lists.keionline.org> en nombre de Peter Maybarduk <pmaybarduk at citizen.org>
Enviado: jueves, 24 de mayo de 2018 8:47
Para: Claire Waterhouse; ip-health at lists.keionline.org
Asunto: Re: [Ip-health] South African Cabinet Approves New Intellectual Property Policy

Congratulations to all of our South African colleagues for this important achievement. Thank you for your work.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ip-health [mailto:ip-health-bounces at lists.keionline.org] On Behalf Of Claire Waterhouse
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2018 9:35 AM
To: ip-health at lists.keionline.org
Subject: [Ip-health] South African Cabinet Approves New Intellectual Property Policy

https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fixthepatentlaws.org%2F%3Fp%3D1200&data=02%7C01%7C%7C97be841286974e7664d908d5c17e9955%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636627671849757466&sdata=9jIK1oO3tlP8OA%2BgtDuuW1iQsoap2Tq8TgVPqOOfbFU%3D&reserved=0

South African Cabinet Approves New Intellectual Property Policy

The Fix the Patent Laws Coalition (FTPL) welcomes the news today that the Cabinet of the Government of South Africa has approved<https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gcis.gov.za%2Fnewsroom%2Fmedia-releases%2Fstatement-cabinet-meeting-23-may-2018&data=02%7C01%7C%7C97be841286974e7664d908d5c17e9955%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636627671849757466&sdata=DIZ7u03gCVIVEOcwYRncgY9rlLjLkff9H5%2BZ6fAbi%2BI%3D&reserved=0> the new Intellectual Property (IP) Policy. After nine years of policy development, two different draft policies and various rounds of public consultation, we now finally have an agreed-upon government policy that can guide much-needed law reform. Though we await seeing the final policy until it is gazetted by government, we are optimistic that the policy will herald a new era for access to medicines in South Africa by prioritising people' lives over the profits of pharmaceutical corporations.

While the finalisation and adoption of a policy is an important milestone, the hard work of developing and passing legislative amendments is still ahead of us. We urge the Department of Trade and Industry to prioritise the development of bills that will bring a more humane and Constitutionally sound balance to our legal framework.

The approval of the new IP policy is particularly poignant given that it comes just days after the loss of one of our members and brave patient activists, Sue Johnson, on 16 May 2018, to Multiple Myeloma, for which she was unable to access the recommended treatment (a medicine called lenalidomide) due to its exhorbitant cost of R75,000 per month. This same medicine is available in India for just R5,000 per month. We remember at this time also our dear colleague Thobeka Daki, who passed away in November 2016 from HER2+ Breast Cancer, and who too was unable to afford the medicine she needed - trastuzumab, which cost approximately R500,000 per course at the time. We salute these brave comrades and the many others who have not been able to get the medicines they needed as a result of South Africa's regressive patent system.

Though we celebrate today as an important step in the right direction, we will continue the fight to fix South Africa's patent laws until all who need affordable medicines can access them. We remain committed to a world where no-one is denied life-saving or suffering preventing treatment simply because they cannot afford it.

FTPL will release a full statement after having read and analysed the new policy in detail.


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