TAC asks Supreme Court of Appeal to consider public health in patent dispute over cancer medicine [So. Africa]
Author: Treatment Action Campaign [So. Africa], Published on: 19 April 2012
The [Treatment Action Campaign]...has resolved to seek admission in a legal dispute between...Aventis Pharma [part of Sanofi] and...Cipla, over a claim of patent infringement on a drug that treats cancer called Docetaxel...TAC is arguing that when the [Supreme Court of Appeal] hears this case it should take into consideration arguments about the public interest and the constitutional right to health...Our intervention aims to establish as a principle something the Court has not considered before, and that is that Constitutional rights must be factored into the adjudication process when deciding patent infringements...TAC is arguing that it is in the interests of cancer patients that the generic drugs be available, and that the harm to patients will be greater than the harm to Aventis if they are granted the interdict...If TAC’s argument is accepted...[i]t will mean that in future in any dispute over patents on life saving drugs, the courts will have to consider the public interest and the constitutional right of access to health care services.