Analysis: The politics and promise behind a proposed pandemic treaty

Analysis: The politics and promise behind a proposed pandemic treaty

25 heads of state, including South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, have called for the creation of an international pandemic treaty to strengthen global capacity to predict and respond to pandemic threats. But what should we make of this development, given that existing treaties have often been ignored during the COVID-19 crisis and recent efforts toward a research and development treaty for health products have floundered, asks Catherine Tomlinson.

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Opinion: WTO waiver is important, but so is fixing SA’s outdated patent laws

Opinion: WTO waiver is important, but so is fixing SA’s outdated patent laws

The World Trade Organization TRIPS council is expected to vote on South Africa and India’s proposed patent waiver on 10 or 11 March which could, if granted, help countries to scale up production of COVID-19 vaccines. But, while the waiver is important, argues Julia Chaskalson, it is also urgent that South Africa should amend its outdated domestic patent laws.

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Health in 2021: Spotlight’s top 12 questions

Health in 2021: Spotlight’s top 12 questions

While COVID-19 will continue to make headlines for some time, 2021 will also be a critical year for healthcare reforms in South Africa and for various aspects of the country’s HIV and TB response. These are Spotlight’s top 12 healthcare questions for the year.

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COVID-19: What local vaccine production actually means

COVID-19: What local vaccine production actually means

South Africa is set to produce its first vaccine in 25 years, but it won’t be a COVID-19 jab. Plans are however in place to “fill and finish” COVID-19 vaccines in South Africa. Laura Lopez Gonzalez has the details.

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Opinion: Why fixing South Africa’s patent laws is necessary in the fight against HIV

Opinion: Why fixing South Africa’s patent laws is necessary in the fight against HIV

In 2018, Cabinet adopted a new intellectual property policy for South Africa, but as yet the policy has not led to any change in the country’s patent laws. Amending these laws as soon as possible is critical to both the COVID-19 and HIV response, argues Umunyana Rugege.

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Op-ed: President Ramaphosa should support the COVID-19 IP pool

Op-ed: President Ramaphosa should support the COVID-19 IP pool

Having pressed the imperative of equitable global sharing of COVID-19 health products, President Ramaphosa must now declare support for the Intellectual Property Pool for COVID-19, argues Professor Yousuf Vawda & Professor Brook K Baker.

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80 Academics urge President Ramaphosa to expedite changes to SA’s patent laws

80 Academics urge President Ramaphosa to expedite changes to SA’s patent laws

As the confirmed number of COVID-19 infections in South Africa climbs toward 20 000, a group of 80 leading academics, teachers and researchers have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to urge reform of South Africa’s Patents Act. We republish the letter in full.

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COVID-19: Patent victories from HIV fight are now more relevant than ever

COVID-19: Patent victories from HIV fight are now more relevant than ever

Around the turn of the century developing countries fought for and won safeguards to promote access to medicines in international trade law. These safeguards are now being heralded by lawmakers around the world as critical legal mechanisms that nations can and must use in the fight against COVID-19, writes Catherine Tomlinson.

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