South Africa: A Redeeming Moment for the Govt- a Case for Compulsory Licensing in the Age of COVID-19


South Africa has a frontline moment now of preventing pharmaceutical profiteering in a time of pandemic. The government is ideally located for leading the charge and agenda for the Global South when it comes to the regulation of vaccinations, testing and medicines.

This has to be the South African government and the ruling party's redeeming moment.

With Covid-19, it is hoped that our country finally understands why, in one of the world's most unequal countries, life-saving testing, vaccinations and medicines matter, and why the companies and researchers that make them must be regulated. It literally is the difference between life, sickness and premature death.

Crucially, Covid-19 could be the catalyst for human solidarity but also opening up, showing that diagnostic (testing), medicine and vaccine access is a right for all people, not just the wealthy or the insured, so that globally we move away from the notion of health as a commodity. This will enable us to scale up testing and care much sooner and more affordably than we ever did with HIV and Aids and begin to invest more in research and development.

But if we rely exclusively on the goodwill and solidarity of the companies that develop and...

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