South African pharma firms accused of planning to delay patents law reform

Author: Sarah Boseley, Guardian (UK), Published on: 17 January 2014

Drug companies in South Africa have been accused of planning a covert, well-funded campaign to delay the introduction of laws that threaten their profits. Leaked documents show that pharmaceutical companies planned a $450,000 campaign, involving a high-profile consultancy based in Washington, DC, against changes to intellectual property laws that would enable their patents on new medicines to be bypassed in the interests of public health. This would allow the manufacture of cheaper copies of their medicines…Campaigners accused the international drug giants of trying to derail life-saving legislation. The trade body IPASA (Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry Association South Africa), which was coordinating the campaign, said...the plans were no longer going ahead – although it was legitimate for drug companies to promote their views in this way...

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