[Ip-health] Study on TRIPS flexibilities in patent, competition and medicines laws in South Africa

Catherine Kirk catherine.kirk at undp.org
Tue Oct 15 06:22:55 PDT 2013


UNDP has recently released a study<http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/hiv-aids/using-law-to-accelerate-treatment-access-in-south-africa.html> entitled 'Using Law to Accelerate Treatment Access in South Africa'. The study focuses on policy options available in three interrelated areas of patent, competition and medicines law affecting access to HIV treatment and other essential medicines. The recommended reforms are aimed at safeguarding public health by optimizing the use of public health related TRIPS flexibilities and therefore, the policy space available to countries at the WTO. Potential drawbacks and challenges are highlighted, as are strategies for adoption that draw on the experiences of other low- and middle-income countries.

Commissioned  by UNDP as one of a number of country studies to examine the extent to which the domestic legal and regulatory environment enabled countries in Africa to increase access to essential medicines, the study was first authored by Chan Park, Achal Prabhala and Jonathan Berger in 2007. It formed the basis of a workshop held in Pretoria in November 2007 where its findings were shared with representatives from DoH, DTI and the Competition authority. In light of recent developments in South Africa, the study was updated by the authors this year with editing by Kajal Bhardwaj. The recommendations of the report are aimed at achieving mutually reinforcing goals. First and foremost, it focuses on promoting access to essential medicines. But the recommendations are also made with a second objective in mind: to develop and support policies conducive to the growth and development of the domestic pharmaceutical industry.

We hope that the study makes a contribution to efforts to better align and harmonize the three laws in question.

With best regards,

Katie Kirk
Intellectual Property and Access to Treatment Consultant
HIV, Health and Development Group, BDP
United Nations Development Programme
304 East 45th St, FF-1182
New York, NY 10017
T: +1 212.906.6611 | Skype: katie.kirk.undp | E: catherine.kirk at undp.org<mailto:catherine.kirk at undp.org> |

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