PFIZER DONATION PROTECTS PROFITS WHILE PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS DIE!
PRESS RELEASE and INVITATION TO PICKET
20 June 2000 Pietermaritzburg
In the last two months people across Southern Africa and the world
rejoiced when they heard that the drug company Pfizer would donate
fluconazole free of charge to people with HIV/AIDS. The donation was
for cryptococcal meniningitis and covered people who could not
afford the drug. TAC supported the Health Minister and government's
acceptance of the donation. We hoped that drug companies had at last
learnt that people's lives were more important than profits. We were
wrong. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has learnt from Pfizer
representatives that they:
Insist on limiting their donation to a period of two and a half
years-the exact period when their fluconazole patent or exclusive
licence to sell will expire.
Refuse to extend the offer to treat thrush (see TAC leaflet).
Refuse to include countries other than South Africa in the offer.
Refuse to reduce the price to lower than R4.00 per capsule for all other
By refusing to negotiate, Pfizer is condemning countless people to
suffering and possible death because they cannot afford the
unreasonable price that the company is putting on the drug. Pfizer's
"gift" appears to have been a fraud to protect their profits.
Therefore, TAC will organise people nationally and allies
internationally to take action against the company-this action will
include: demonstrations, pickets, consumer action and litigation.
We urge the Minister of Health to continue the negotiations to
accept the Pfizer donation because it will help save lives, while
all of us engage in action to make Pfizer see reason. We urge every
individual and organisation to join the following activities:
On 20 June 2000, TAC will picket the Pfizer factory in
Pietermaritzburg. We invite people to join us at 5 Polmed Road,
Willowton Pietermaritzburg. Transport will leave from TAC offices in
Durban at 11h00.
Attend the Interfaith Service for Positive Living hosted by World
Conference on Religion and Peace and the Coalition for Children
Living in an HIV Positive World - 22 June 2000 at 12h30 in the
Gandhi/Luthuli Hall, Durban City Hall
On 26 June 2000, TAC will picket the Pfizer SA headquarters in
Sandton Johannesburg. (Contact Pholokgholo Ramotshwala on 011-403
Join the March for HIV/AIDS Treatment Access on 9 July 2000
sponsored by TAC and HealthGap Coalition. Endorsed by Cosatu and
Please contact Promise Mthembu, Nkanyezi Nkabinde or Obed Qulo for
comment on (031-304 3673 or 083 467 1152)