Submission on the Draft Intellectual Property Policy of the Republic of South Africa – Phase 1

17 November 2017
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The problem statement is premised on the idea that patents act as a major barrier to access to medicines. The Draft IP Policy states, “… the intersection of IP and public health has long been an issue of contention within South Africa, and one without resolution to date… As both a constitutionally guaranteed right, as well as a key development goal, the issue of access to health care services – and the role of IP in delivering public health – has been at the forefront of human rights debates in the country”. Putting aside the fact that the Draft IP Policy overlooks other constitutionally mandated rights to make its case, the Draft IP Policy fails to provide substantive evidence to support the assertion that patents are the cause of South Africa’s poor healthcare outcomes.

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