WHO Reverses Statement on South African AIDS Trial
The World Health Organization yesterday retracted a statement that it supported South Africa in the lawsuit brought by 39 drug companies over the country's 1997 Medicines Control Act that would allow for the importation and manufacturing of cheaper antiretroviral medicines, the Associated Press reports. The U.N. agency called a spokesperson's Tuesday comment that WHO believed South Africa's Medicines Control Act did not violate international rules a "mistake." The agency "reiterat[ed] that it has a general policy not to take position in litigation in member states," adding, "What we meant to say was that we had provided technical assistance to South Africa on issues that were being addressed in this court case" (Associated Press, 3/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.