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.
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