It was another early morning for Restless Development staff and Stop AIDers today as we arrived at 8am at the rather fancy Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane to make some noise outside the Pharma Summit conference being held there.
We were doing this in support of TAC‘s Fix the Patent Laws campaign. For the past six years South Africa has been working on reforming its patent laws. The current laws prioritise patents and profits over health and prevent millions of people in South African from accessing affordable treatment. Antibiotic Linezolid, for example, is priced at £37 per pill in South Africa, but is available for just £1.37 in India. The new law means that the country won’t have to accept unfair patents on life-saving drugs and can instead produce or import affordable, generic versions.
HOWEVER, a strategy paper from a group of drug companies was leaked exposing their plan to derail the initiative driven by PURE GREED! If they get their way then South Africa will not be able to extend their ARV program or afford new TB or Cancer drugs. You can read the full document and more on the story here.
At the same time as us, activists in South Africa marched to parliament in Cape Town, demanding that the policy is put through before the next general election so with these two big protests going on we have definitely made a splash! We’ll have those big pharma companies quaking in their boots in no time!