South Africa: Campaign for affordable medicine gains ground

| June 15, 2015

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Several organizations in South Africa have joined a campaign called Fix the Patent Laws to push for reform of the country’s patent legislation.

The campaign promoters say that existing laws severely restrict access to affordable medicines for everyone in South Africa. They say that South African authorities currently grant patents on almost every application they receive. They argue that this allows pharmaceutical companies to maintain lengthy monopolies on medicines, which keeps prices higher than in other countries.

One campaigner says: “We want to ensure that there is proper scrutiny of patent applications before patents are granted … so that more people can access the medicines that they need.”

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