Activists demands change in intellectual property laws

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Activists from Fix the Patent Laws Campaign (FTPL) urged government to change intellectual property laws to allow more people to access lifesaving medicine for serious ailments such as cancer, HIV, Covid, tuberculosis, mental health and diabetes.

FTPL handed a memorandum to Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel, demanding him to:

• Immediately publish amendments to the Patents Act;

• Issue compulsory licenses for Covid treatments and vaccines;

• Review the legal status of patent applications on all Covid medical technologies;

• Provide strict examination of all patents for pharmaceutical products, now and in future, so that

patents are not automatically granted for lifesaving medicines, which limits supply and increases

prices of these medicines; and

• Develop an easy administrative process to enable third party organisations to challenge

pharmaceutical patents.

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