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

22nd January 2014

Leaked documents reveal lobbying proposals to delay laws that would allow fast introduction of generic medicines

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.

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