SA patent laws threat to vaccine

19 May 2020

In a letter to Pres Cyril Ramaphosa, Fix the Patent Laws (FTPL), a coalition of 40 patient advocacy groups and civil society organisations, warned that without swift action, SA will face a “second emergency” for (Covid-19) as it will be prevented from accessing the tools needed to respond effectively.

The coalition has urged government to put in place a temporary moratorium on the issuance of patents on all COVID-19-related health products and institute an automatic compulsory licensing mechanism to ensure access to products that have already been granted patents, or that are pending.

The coalition also requested government to finalise the patent law reform process. The draft legislation, primarily the amendments to the Patents Act, should be released for public comment and quickly promulgated into law.