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20 Dec 2010
Pharmaceutical Companies Beaten (Act Up)
-The Medicine Act introduces 3 important measures 1) generic substitution of off-patent
medicine and medicines imported and produced under compulsory licenses, 2) parallel
importation of patented medicines and 3) a transparent medicine pricing system though
the establishment of a pricing committee.
-The generic substitution measure compels pharmacists to prescribe a cheaper generic
version of a medicine, if one exists, when presented w/ a prescription from a patient.
-The parallel important measure has perhaps been the source of most confusion
surrounding the Medicines Act. It refers to the purchasing of patented medicines from
foreign countries. Once a product is sold, seller loses ownership rights over it.
-Pricing committee will recommend a dispensing that pharmacists can charge instead of a
-Generic substitution will ease pressure on medical aid costs and reduce the prices of
medicines in the private sector. Private sector accessible and ease the disproportionate
pressure on the public health-care system.
-Parallel importation reduces the prices of some patented medicines in public and private
sectors. It frees up resources in public sectors so more people can access private sector.
-The pricing committee should force pharmaceutical companies to justify the prices they
-Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is arguably the worst patent abuser because they specialize
in turning publicly funded research into private profit.
-Governments Responsibilities: enact Medicine Act immediately; begin realizing the
implementation of a country-wide mother-to-child transmission programme w/o further
unnecessary delays; apply for voluntary licenses on essential generic medicines
immediately; invest more money into AIDS prevention programmes and include
treatment as part of the prevention message; and develop a treatment plan which will
outline how treatment will be made accessible to all S. Africans with HIV/AIDS and will
commit the gov’t to increased health care spending.
-TACs objectives are to get treatment for people w/ HIV/AIDS and to build a quality
health-care service.
AIDS and the Ecology of Poverty (Stillwaggon)
-Almost 40 million people are infected worldwide, more then 90% of them in developing
countries. Almost 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, more than 6 million people in
South and Southeast Asia, 2 million Latin America and the Caribbean almost 2 million in
Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and 1 million reported in East Asia. At least 20 million
people have already died. 15 million AIDS orphans, 12 million in sub-Saharan Africa
-Transmission of HIV
HIV affects almost exclusively men who have sex with men, people who share
needles for injecting drugs, female partners of bisexual men and needle sharers
and their infants, and hemophiliacs.
Blood transfusions are the most efficient mode of transmission, 90-100% of
persons transfused with contaminated blood becoming infected. Needle-sharing
is also highly efficient w/ the result that local epidemics among drug users have
spread very rapidly.
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