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WHY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REFORM IN SOUTH AFRICA WILL HELP NOT HURT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION IN THE COUNTRY

Sensible reforms to South Africa’s patent laws will not harm the economy or inhibit domestic innovation. To the contrary, in this paper we provide evidence that sensible reforms can both stimulate the economy and bolster innovation – all while improving the access that people living in South Africa have to life-saving and life changing medicines. The suggestion that legislators have to choose between patients and the economy is incorrect. The choice is between the interests of foreign pharmaceutical firms and their governments, on the one hand, and on the other, the expansion of the South African economy and the fulfilment of the government’s Constitutional obligation to take reasonable legislative and other measures to progressively realise the right to access health care services.

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