(2001; 52 pages)
Bond P. Globalization, pharmaceutical pricing and South African health policy. International Journal of Health Services, 1999, 29(4).
The article examines the case of South Africa after legislation aimed at lowering drug prices was passed by Parliament. The Medicines and Related Substances Control Amendment Act (‘Medicines Act’) of 1997 provides room for generic substitution by pharmacists. Scheduling of medicines, licensing of dispensers, establishment of a pricing committee and prohibition of pharmaceutical bonusing and rebates for bulk buyers are included in the Act. More controversially, it also allows parallel imports and compulsory drug licensing. The author describes the strong response by the pharmaceutical industry and some governments towards the Medicines Act, which is the subject of legal proceedings (as at March 2001).
du Plessis E. South Africa: pharmaceutical reform. The battle over making medicines affordable. Managing Intellectual Property, June 1998, 14-17.
Controversial reforms to reduce drug prices in South Africa have angered the pharmaceutical industry and led to the country being threatened with sanctions by the US. The author relates the history of the Medicines Amendment Act culminating in court action. She then examines what she sees as the faults of the proposed legislation with a close look at section 15C, the main source of controversy, and the threat of parallel imports and compulsory licensing.
Love J. Medicines and Related Substances Control Amendment Bill and South African reform of pharmaceutical policies. Comments of the Consumer Project on Technology to the Portfolio Committee on Health Parliament, Cape Town, 6 October 1997. Available on the web at: http://www.cptech.org/ip/health/sa/
The main features of this South African legislation would facilitate aggressive marketplace competition for pharmaceutical drugs, through encouraging the use of generic drugs and parallel imports. This paper provides discussions on the issues of parallel imports: their nature, scope, use in other countries and their status in the TRIPS Agreement. The issue of health registration data in South Africa is also discussed.
Monot G. World Trade Organization agreements and their implications for public health and drug access in SADC countries.
The aim of this paper is to inform people in the health sector about the impact of globalization on health care and access to drugs in developing countries. It starts by giving a brief review of GATT, WTO and WTO agreements relating to health. The impacts of WTO and TRIPS on health and health care are then described in terms of advantages and disadvantages. The paper continues by examining the case study of the South Africa dispute with the WTO. Finally, it presents the important steps to be taken to manage potential conflicts regarding TRIPS/the General Agreement on Trade in Services in the SADC region, in terms of public interest, legal, and policy and health systems responses.
Roberts I. South Africa: the rationale for reform. Deeb M. The need for pragmatism. Scrip Magazine, June 1997, 51-54.
The South African Government has drawn up a series of measures, including a National Drug Policy, to reform the country’s healthcare system. In this issue, Dr Ian Roberts explains the reasoning behind the proposals and what it is hoped they will achieve, while Mirryena Deeb puts forward the industry’s reaction to the draft legislation.
Yusuf AA. Intellectual property protection in the countries of Africa. International Journal of Technology Management (special issue on the management of international intellectual property), 1995, 10(2/3): 269-292.
This paper examines the state of intellectual property rights and their protection and exploitation in African countries. Listed are the coverage of intellectual property laws, the subject matter of protection and the scope of rights conferred. It is shown that African legislation is generally comparable to that in developed countries with regard to terms of protection, compulsory licensing, subject matter and government and public interest use. A comparison is made between developed countries and African members of GATT in regard to fields excluded from protection. The results of surveys of some individual African countries reveal the extent of registration of patents and technology transfer to these countries. Finally, the possible impact of new legislation, especially in the context of the TRIPS negotiations of the Uruguay Round, is considered.