AIDS in South Africa: Patents vs. People Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

In order to control the spread of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, the South African government took the controversial patent law, the effect of which would allow the country to import or produce much-needed AIDS drugs at a much lower cost than is usually available. Pharmaceutical industry and the Government of the United States against the law believing that it could undermine the importance of protecting intellectual property rights. The United States eventually imposed sanctions against South Africa. Uneasy truce was finally reached, and in 1999, South Africa is considered an amendment to the patent law. The U.S. position softened in response to the scope of the epidemic and the need for medicines in South Africa at affordable prices, and the president of the United States issued a decree against the sanctions.
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by Robert Tancer, Susan Tully Source: Thunderbird School of Global Management 20 pages. Publication Date: August 1, 2000. Prod. #: TB0177-PDF-ENG

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