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South African suit

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  • Weber
    Public pressure can do great things! Just heard this from a friend. Cathy ... Success!!!!!! Heard the good news - 39 companies dropped the suit
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 19, 2001
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       Public pressure can do great things!    Just heard this from a friend.    Cathy
       
      -------------------------------
       
      Success!!!!!!  Heard the good  news - 39 companies dropped the suit
      -activism does pay off. Joan




    • Christine Chumbler
      Here s the BBC story. There is also video on the webpage. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_1285000/1285097.stm SA victory in Aids drugs
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 19, 2001
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        Here's the BBC story. There is also video on the webpage.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_1285000/1285097.stm

        SA victory in Aids drugs
        case

        Protesters accused companies of putting profits before
        lives
        The 39 pharmaceutical companies contesting a
        South African law that could provide cheaper
        versions of branded Aids drugs have
        unconditionally dropped the case.

        During a hearing which lasted less than a
        minute, the companies also said that they
        would meet the South African Government's
        legal costs.

        Aids activists cheered
        when the
        announcement was
        made, in a case that
        was seen as a landmark
        battle in the effort to
        secure medication for
        Africa's 26 million HIV
        carriers.

        The drugs companies had taken the
        government to court in an attempt to block
        legislation which gives the government powers
        to import or manufacture cheap versions of
        brand-name drugs.

        Now, the South African authorities are
        expected to enact the law, which they have
        argued is desperately needed to tackle the
        country's Aids crisis.

        Pressure

        Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said
        the government had not agreed to any deals
        regarding the legislation, which as yet has
        never been implemented.

        GlaxoSmithKline, one of
        the companies involved
        in the legal action, said
        South Africa had made
        a commitment to
        respect international
        law on drugs patents.

        Kevin Watkins, of the
        British aid group Oxfam,
        described it as a
        "comprehensive
        climbdown" by the
        drugs companies.

        "We have lost three
        years in the fight against Aids, but it is a great
        victory for the people of South Africa and for
        the global campaign to make drugs more
        affordable."

        The BBC's Jane
        Standley in Pretoria
        says the pressure will
        now be on the
        government to come up
        with a treatment plan
        for the 4.7 million
        people estimated to be
        HIV positive in the
        country.

        President Thabo Mbeki's administration has not
        yet said whether it will import retroviral drugs,
        which help prevent HIV turning into fullblown
        Aids, or if they will buy medication to treat
        so-called "opportunistic infections" that affect
        Aids patients.

        Wednesday's hearing was adjourned, as the
        companies carried out intense negotiations
        aimed at securing a quiet exit from a case that
        correspondents say left them mired in bad
        publicity.

        They have been accused of putting profit
        before the lives of millions of people who are
        unable to afford life-saving drugs in the
        developing world, a charge which they deny.

        Blueprint

        Mirryena Deeb, chief executive of the
        Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association of
        South Africa (PMA), said the government had
        agreed to consult the companies when the
        regulations to implement the law were drafted.

        The new settlement
        could become a
        blueprint for future
        relations between
        pharmaceutical
        companies and
        governments in the
        developing world.

        Legislation passed in
        1997, which allowed for
        cheaper drugs, was
        suspended pending the
        outcome of this court
        case.

        The South African Government argued that
        this tied its hands at a time when it
        desperately needed cheap drugs to address
        the country's crippling Aids crisis.

        >>> "Weber" <weber@...> 4/19/01 9:57 AM >>>
        Public pressure can do great things! Just heard this from a friend. Cathy

        -------------------------------

        Success!!!!!! Heard the good news - 39 companies dropped the suit
        -activism does pay off. Joan
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