South Africa

The Health Systems Trust launched the South African Health Review 2000 on the 1st of March 2001. This is an annual publication that provides an annual and longer-term review of health policy developments in South Africa.

The South African government announced yesterday that it will not declare HIV/AIDS a national emergency, a move that under World Trade Organization rules would have allowed the country to import generic drugs "regardless of objections from drug firms claiming abuse of patent rights," Reuters reports (Reuters, 3/13).

One of the world's biggest drugs companies yesterday relaxed its patent over two Aids drugs, allowing manufacturers in South Africa to produce cheaper copies for local use, after protests from the scientific community.