INVITATION: Peaceful protest for life saving medicines

No more delays! Fix the Patent Laws!

Friday, September 23, 2016 — Dear media colleagues,

On 27th September over 1 000 health activists from the Fix the Patent Laws campaign comprising of 32 organisations, will march to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Pretoria to demand that they change our laws so that everyone can get the medicines they need at affordable prices.

People are suffering and dying because medicines for cancer, hepatitis, tuberculosis, mental health and many other diseases are too expensive. While we won the fight for HIV medicines, we lost the fight for almost all other medicines.

In 2013 the South African government committed to reforming South Africa’s patent laws in a draft National Policy on Intellectual Property. Yet three years later, nothing has changed and many people still suffer unnecessarily.

In July this year Cabinet approved a new Intellectual Property (IP) Consultative Framework for South Africa. The Consultative Framework now presents a process for finalisation of the draft Policy. The Fix the Patent Laws campaign will deliver a detailed submission of recommendations on the framework when we march to the DTI. 

WHEN: TUESDAY 27th SEPTEMBER, 10h00 - 14h00 

WHERE: DEPARTMENT OF TRADE & INDUSTRY, PRETORIA

Start location Pretoria Art Museum at 10h00. 

Rally and submission handover 13h00 - 14h00 outside the DTI, Pretoria. 

WHO: The Fix the Patent Laws is a joint coalition of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), SECTION27, the South African Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (SANCD Alliance), DiabetesSA, EpilepsySA, Marie Stopes South Africa, the Stop Stock Outs Project (SSP), the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), Cape Mental Health (CMH), the South African Federation of Mental Health (SAFMH), the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders Alliance (SABDA), as well as the Cancer Alliance, including alliance members: AmaBele Belles' Project Flamingo, Breast Health Foundation, Breast Course 4 Nurses, Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Can-Sir, Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa (CHOC), Igazi Foundation, Hospice Palliative Care Association (HPCA), Look Good Feel Better, National Council Against Smoking, Oncology Nursing Association of SA, Pancreatic Cancer Network of SA, People Living with Cancer (PLWC), Reach for Recovery, Pink Trees, The Sunflower Fund, Vrede Foundation and Wings of Hope.

Follow #FixPatentLaw for live updates during the march

For more information contact:

Lotti Rutter | TAC | lotti.rutter@tac.org.za | 081 818 8493

Angela Makamure | Doctors Without Borders | angela.makamure@joburg.msf.org | 079 872 2950