Patents versus patients : global governance and the role of civil society in South Africa's quest for affordable drugs

Karlsbakk, A. (2005-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is an explanatory study into civil society's increased influence in global governance. More specifically this situation is examined by looking at the generic medicine debate that came in the wake of the passing of the Medicines and Related Substances Act by the South African government in 1997. This debate gained worldwide attention and touched some of the prevailing inequalities between the developed world and the developing world in our globalised society. The research question that is addressed here is to what extent did civil society influence the signing of the Doha Declaration of the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health by the members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001? In doing so, this thesis looks at the role of the US government, the South African government, the pharmaceutical industry, the WTO's TRIPS Agreement and civil society in the form of nongovernmental organisations like Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Oxfam and Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF). The study applies a constructivist approach in order to analyse how civil society used global advocacy networks to inform and communicate the normative concerns regarding South Africa and developing countries' lack of access to HIVand AIDS drugs. Moreover, it examines how civil society's use of moral authority challenged the regulative power of the WTO. The study concludes that civil society played a vital role in influencing the WTO member states' decision to sign the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. However, it was not only civil society's ability to set the agenda concerning the HIV/AIDS pandemic, but also the content of the normative concerns themselves that help explain its success. Consequently, the study further concludes that civil society's success in this specific case must be seen in light of its growing influence in challenging global governance.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis is 'n verduidelikende studie van die burgerlike samelewing se groeiende invloed in globale regering. Hierdie situasie word meer spesifiek ondersoek deur te kyk na die generiese medisyne debat wat gevoer is na die Suid-Afrikaanse Regering die Medisyne en Verwante Stowwe Wet van 1997 goedgekeur het. Hierdie debat het wêreldwye aandag geniet en het geraak aan sommige van die bestaande ongelykhede wat daar heers tussen die ontwikkelde en ontwikkelende wêreld in die geglobaliseerde samelewing. Die navorsingsvraag wat hier aangespreek word is tot watter mate die burgerlike samelewing die ondertekening van die Doha Verklaring van die TRIPS Ooreenkoms en Publieke Gesondheid deur lede van die Wêreld Handelsorganisasie (WHO) in 2001 beïnvloed het. Deur dit te doen, sal hierdie tesis kyk na die rol van die Amerikaanse regering, die Suid- Afrikaanse regering, die farmaseutiese bedryf, die WHO se TRIPS Ooreenkoms en die burgerlike samelewing in die vorm van nie-regerings organisasies soos die Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Oxfam en Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF). Die studie maak gebruik van 'n konstruktiwistiese benadering om 'n analise te doen van hoe die burgerlike samelewing globale ondersteunings netwerke gebruik het om die normatiewe besorgdhede wat heers oor die tekorte in Suid-Afrika en die ontwikkelende lande ten opsigte van toegang tot MIV en VIGS medisyne, toe te lig en te verkondig. Verder ondersoek die studie hoe die gebruik deur die burgerlike samelewing van morele gesag die regulerende mag van die WHO uitgedaag het. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat die bugerlike samelewing 'n uiters belangrike rol gespeel het in die WHO lidlande se besluit om die Doha Verklaring van die TRIPS Ooreenkoms en Publieke Gesondheid te onderteken. Dit was egter nie net die burgerlike samelewing se vermoë om die agenda daar te stel ten opsigte van die MIV/VIGS pandemie nie, maar ook die inhoud van die normatiewe besorgdhede self wat bygedra het om hierdie sukses te verduidelik. Gevolglik kom die studie tot die verdere gevolgtrekking dat die burgerlike samelewing se sukses in hierdie spesifieke geval gesien kan word in die lig van sy groeiende invloed in die uitdaging van globale mag en gesag.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50414
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