BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Drugs case victory for South Africa

Some of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies have dropped their legal action against the South African government over its plan to obtain cheaper versions of their patented drugs.

The announcement is seen as a landmark victory for poorer countries, as they struggle to cope with AIDS and other diseases.

It came after hours of discussions in Pretoria to secure an out-of-court settlement, ending a two-year legal battle.

In a joint statement with the drugs companies, the South African government said that any imports of generic drugs would be undertaken within international trade rules.

The health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said she would start within weeks the process of implementing laws that could provide cheaper treatment to South Africa's four-and-a-half million people infected with HIV the virus that can lead to AIDS. A BBC correspondent in Pretoria says the pressure is now on the South African authorities to deliver treatment where it's needed.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories