Drug makers are fighting attempts to change the patent laws in South Africa that would allow cheaper generics on to the market – life-saving medication to treat life-threatening diseases. There is precedent for the country, however, in a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court over the patent for cancer drug Gleevec.
Medical advances are making history, and people – and babies – are surviving extraordinary odds. Many of these ground-breaking medical techniques are mastered by doctors in South Africa. In some instances, they are showing the world the way.
South African researchers have genetically engineered a strain of bacteria to produce large and affordable quantities of a novel and highly effective treatment for HIV.
Small-scale farmers in East Africa have become the world’s third-largest producers of a key ingredient in the most effective malaria drug available, producing a crop of the highest quality.