impact of globalization on health globalization, pharmaceutical pricing, and south african health policy: managing confrontation with u.s. firms and politicians.

BY: PATRICK BOND Brewing since the advent of South African democracy in 1994 and promises of health sector transformation, an extraordinary drug war between President Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress government and U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers took on global proportions in 1998–1999. Within months of the passage of South African legislation aimed at lowering drug prices, the U.S. government quickly applied powerful pressure points to repeal a clause allowing potential importation of generic substitutes and imposition of compulsory licensing. At stake were not only local interpretations of patent law and World Trade Organization rules on Trade in Intellectual Property, but international power relations between developing countries and the pharmaceutical industry. Article available here

rewarding engagement?: the treatment action campaign and the politics of hiv/aids.

BY: STEVEN FRIEDMAN AND SHAUNA MOTTIAR In early 2001, when multi-national corporations were meant to have become invincible, a group of demonstrators were able to pressure international pharmaceutical firms, represented by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PMA), to abandon their court action which sought to prevent the South African government importing cheaper generic medicines. Before and after the case, the companies had responded to criticism of their pricing policies by reducing the price of medication to Southern countries. In late 2003, the South African government sanctioned a plan to distribute anti-retroviral medication (ARVs) to people living with HIV/AIDS, a course of action it had resisted until then. Article available here

south africa: failure and success in public services

BY: TOM LODGE In this article, two brief overviews of public education and of public health respectively will show, on the one hand, a system that has been failing citizens badly and, on the other hand, public provisions that despite their shortcomings have obtained real gains.  That last part of this article will make the case that the main reason for the comparative failure of South African schools and the relative success of South African health services is political. Article available here