oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - 'Affordable medicines' exceptions to patent rights under the TRIPS Agreement: some pointers for South Africa?

Volume 34, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



In this article the author explains the need for South Africa to have access to affordable medicines. The author argues that a balanced approach to the 'affordable medicines' issue should address the possible exploitation time lost by the patentee at the start of the patent term, and the spillover of the patent monopoly after the expiry of the patent term. This approach is needed as in both instances there is the need to obtain regulatory approval. At the same time, and perhaps more importantly against the background of the recent public debate about 'affordable medicines' to treat widespread infection with the human immuno-deficiency virus in South Africa, in particular in accordance with the author's proposal, if it is accepted, will allow cheaper generic medicines to reach the market sooner, in a way that does not breach South Africa's obligations under the TRIPS Agreement.

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