Oxfam Charges Drug Firms with ‘Human Rights Abuses’
International aid group Oxfam is asking the United Nations to investigate the lawsuit brought by 39 pharmaceutical companies against a South African law that would allow the country to obtain cheaper AIDS drugs, arguing that the suit is blocking access to anti-AIDS medicines and thus "abusing the human rights of the people of South Africa," the Australian Financial Review reports. In a letter sent to the U.N. Human Rights Commission on Wednesday, Oxfam said that the lawsuit is "preventing the South African government from meeting its commitments under international human rights covenants on access to health care." The pharmaceutical industry, however, "rejects" the claim that it is "denying" South Africans access to antiretrovirals (Moynihan, Australian Financial Review, 4/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.