Home > News > Public Health Updated 17 January 2014 Dr Motsoaledi calls big pharma 'genocidal' A war is brewing between SA pharmaceutical companies and Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on the issue of drug patents. 1 Shutterstock Related SA tackles drugs patent reform Motsoaledi: Foreign drug firm plan is genocide Private health care must become cheaper A war is brewing between SA pharmaceutical companies and Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on the issue of drug patents. At stake are intellectual property rights on patented drugs vs. affordable access to life-saving healthcare for the poor.The SA Minister of Health was quoted in the Mail & Guardian calling the planned campaign by drug companies against proposed changes to the patent laws ‘a genocide’. He also described it as conspiracy of 'satanic magnitude’ and called on South Africans to fight it 'to the last drop of their blood’.In September last year the department of trade and industry published a draft framework for a new policy on intellectual property (IP). This included patents on life-saving drugs, which Motsoaledi says are crucial to save the lives of many seriously ill South Africans.In response to this, a document was reportedly drawn up by lobby group Public Affairs Engagement on behalf of a number of multinational drug companies operating in South Africa, represented by the Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of SA (Ipsa). Read the full document here.According to the Mail & Guardian, the section of the draft policy pertaining to health aimed to weaken protection for drug patents, which would drive down prices for a range of medications, including antiretrovirals and tuberculosis treatment.The proposals in the draft framework are supported by NGOs working in the field of health, such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).The issues at stake are emotive ones: intellectual property (IP) rights on patented drugs vs. affordable access to life-saving healthcare for people of limited means. In other words putting corporate profits before the health and well-being of the poor.Motsoaledi also expressed concern that if the draft policy were to become law, it would affect not only South Africans, but also millions of people in other developing countries around Africa, as well as the rest of the world.Public Affairs Engagement’s plan intended to send the message that the policy could threaten investment and have negative economic and social consequences.(Sapa. Susan Erasmus) Sapa, Susan Erasmus NEXT ON HEALTH24X Do itchy, burning eyes mean you have an allergy? 2018-10-17 17:58 More: NewsPublic Health advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 1 comment Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical Do itchy, burning eyes mean you have an allergy? News Limpopo Department of Health confident of healthcare turnaround Medical Social media posts may hint at depression long before clinical diagnosis Medical Eczema? Would you consider taking a bleach bath? Parenting Countries that ban spanking see less teen violence News Mom’s life is ruined after mystery sickness makes her look anorexic From our sponsors Dementia and Incontinence: what you need to know Tell-tale signs you need a mattress upgrade Keen to win a R2 000 voucher? Good health begins in your gastrointestinal tract Live healthier Gut health » Can't lose weight? Blame it on your gut Our nutrition experts weigh in on why gut health is such an important factor in weight loss, on World Obesity Day. Sleep better » Yes, there is such a thing as too much sleep A new study confirms that too little sleep can impair your brain, but interestingly, too much sleep is also a problem.