Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jim Edwards' Latest Reminds Me -- Schering-Plough and Merck Sued Nelson Mandela(!), in 1998

This is truly a piece of historical trivia -- and I add it mostly to anchor a link to the original pleadings, for posterity's sake -- but here is a snippet:

. . . .2.1 it enables and authorises the [South African Mandela government], in conflict with Sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, Act 108 of 1996 [hereinafter referred to as "the Constitution"] to determine "prescribed conditions" for the supply of "more affordable medicines" in "certain circumstances" without setting out policy considerations or any guidelines, alternatively sufficient guidelines, which would serve to limit the [South African Mandela government's] authority and power to do so.

2.2 it enables and authorises the [South African Mandela government]: in conflict with Sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution, to "determine" the extent to which rights under a patent granted in the Republic shall apply irrespective of the provisions of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978;

2.3 it enables and authorises the [South African Mandela government], in conflict with Section 25 of the Constitution, to deprive owners of intellectual property in respect of pharmaceutical products of such property, alternatively to expropriate such property without any provision for compensation to be paid in respect thereof;

2.4 it is discriminatory in respect of the enjoyment of patent rights in the pharmaceutical field which discrimination is in conflict with the provisions of Article 27 of the Trade Relates Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement [hereinafter referred to as the "TRIPS Agreement"], an international agreement binding the Republic and to which Parliament has given effect by the promulgation of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, No. 38 of 1997, and consequently such provision is in conflict with Section 44(4) of the Constitution read with Sections 231(2) and 231(3) of the Constitution. . . .

Actually, some 40 pharma concerns joined together to stop what they viewed as unfair advantages -- in AIDS-drug regulations (primarily concerning pricing) -- being granted to "local" South African pharma companies. President Mandela was named in the suit, personally. Fascinating, no?

Hat Tip to Jim Edwards, who cogently notes that the CEO of Sanofi mentioned the above -- as a salutory "look how far we've come!" anecdote, on the Sanofi year-end 2009 conference call last week, but inexplicably confused his role at Glaxo (at the time -- 1998), in the Mandela suit, with his current stint, at Sanofi. Sanofi was not a party; Glaxo was. Bizarre. And, now you know that Merck and Schering-Plough were, too.

File it all away, under the header "betcha' didn't know that. . . ."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool blog you got here. I'd like to read more concerning that topic. Thnx for giving that data.