This Application Uncovers The Stakeholders Of
Pharmaceutical Interests In South Africa

  1. During the Apartheid regime, the pharmaceutical interests had been sitting at the “cabinet table” for four decades. In democratic South Africa the pharmaceutical interests were forced to take other measures in order to protect their economic interests. The pharmaceutical stakeholders reorganized their strategy, now trying to promote their interests through organizations like the old “MCC”, hidden within the structures of democratic South Africa for almost a decade.
  2. As exemplified above, the advent of the Dr Rath Health Foundation in South Africa in 2004 challenged these hidden interests. They now had to articulate themselves in order to protect the “business with disease” on which they had become economically or career wise – directly or indirectly – dependent.
  3. This Application brought about by the “TAC” and the current “SAMA” leadership is a historic document for it features all those individuals and organizations currently active in democratic South Africa on behalf of the “business with disease” and unites them behind one goal: Eliminate natural health as a threat to the patented drug business. This Application is also a valuable document for it reads like a “who‘s who“ of these organizational and individual stakeholders:
    1. The “South African and Medical Association” (SAMA) as the organization responsible for medical practice in South Africa guided by the principles of pharmaceutically-oriented medicine. Page 637 of the Application lists the members of the “SAMA” board who personally signed to support this Application. A closer look at their curriculum vitae documents that most of them are committed to the promotion of pharmaceutical drugs. The following paragraphs describe these connections in detail:
      1. Members of the “Managing Board of SAMA”
        Among the members of the “South African Medical Association” who have supported this Application by name are:
        1. Prof. AA Stulting,

          Free State University, functioned as a consultant for the “Essential Drug List” for South African hospitals. At the same time he is “Chairman of the Board” of the “Foundation for Professional Development” an organisation that is primarily sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and will be discussed below in detail. (Annexure ‘FPD Board’).
        2. Prof. Denise White.

          Vice-Chairperson of the South African Medical Association. She has been engaged in a campaign against natural health approaches, in particular as they relate to AIDS that borders on a “witch hunt.” On March 11, 2005, White issued a statement on behalf of SAMA directly attacking micronutrients in the prevention and therapy of immune deficiencies and the work of our Foundation. (Annexure ‘SAMA White’).
        3. Dr LM Mogudi,

          until recently the President of SAMA. While Dr Mogudi may have expertise in the field of property management, e.g. as Director of “Dijalo Property Services,” he has no proven expertise in the field of micronutrient research.
        4. Dr TKS Letlape,

          is the current “Chairperson” of SAMA. Together with Prof. Stulting, Dr Letlape sits on the Board of Directors of the pharmaceutically-sponsored “Foundation for Professional Development” (see below) and manages different “arms” either strategically sponsored by this “Foundation” (e.g. the “Tshepang Trust”) or even wholly owned by it (e.g. the “Health Science Academy”) (Annexure ‘Letlape’).
        5. Dr TS Tshabangu

          is a “Task Team” member of the “Pharmaceutical Industry Association of South Africa,” the decisive lobby organisation of the manufacturers of ARVS to promote their drugs throughout South African society. (Annexure ‘SMS Management’, ‘LIMS’).
      2. Pharmaceutical companies and “agencies” linked to members of the SAMA managing board:
        1. Several members of the SAMA managing board hold strategic positions on the Board of the “Foundation for Professional Development,” an organization essentially influencing all aspects of the medical profession in South Africa . A list of the “sponsors” of this Foundation documented on its own website reads like a “who’s who” of ARV promotion (Annexure ‘FPD Sponsors’).
        2. Pharmaceutical companies manufacturing and distributing ARV drugs and influencing the health care sector of South Africa
          1. GlaxoSmithKline, GSK, ( UK ) produces no less than the seven ARV products, including the world’s best selling antiretroviral drug, AZT. According to GSK’s public records, the global sales of its ARV drugs in 2005 were nearly 37 billion (!) South African Rand , an increase of more than 10% over the previous year (Annexure ‘GlaxoSmithKline’).
          2. Pfizer, a US-based pharmaceutical multinational, is the world’s largest drug company. Pfizer distributes at least two ARV products each of them with global sales of hundreds of millions of Rands . (Annexure ‘Pfizer’).
          3. Roche, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical multinational distributes at least three different ARV drugs. In 2005, the global sales of one of these drugs alone, Fuzeon, surpassed 1.5 billion South African Rand (Annexure ‘Roche’).
          4. Abbott Pharmaceuticals, the US-based multinational drug company manufactures the ARV combination product “Kaletra”. The total global sales of this ARV drug already in 2004 were close to $ 900 million or R 6.5 billion (!). In order to continuously increase the global market for its ARV drugs, the Abbott company is simultaneously marketing a diagnostic test kit named “OraQuick Advance” for the rapid mass diagnosis of HIV (Annexure ‘Abbott’).
          5. Aspen Pharmacare, a South African drug company specialized in the distribution of generic ARVs is selling no less than six different types of these drugs. One of the main shareholders of Aspen is COSATU’s “Pharmaceutical Investment Trust” CEPPWAWU (Annexure ‘CEPPWAWU’).
          6. Boehringer-Ingelheim, a German-based pharmaceutical multinational company is the manufacturer of at least two ARV drugs, among them the first ARV drug marketed globally, Viramune (Nevirapine). In 2005 Boehringer’s net profits from the sales of Nevirapine alone surpassed 2.7 billion (!) South African Rand . (Annexure ‘Boehringer-Ingelheim’).
          7. All of these companies are
            1. Supporting the South African “Foundation for Professional Development” and its “educational efforts” including training seminars of the “South African Medical Association” and other South African health professions;
            2. All these companies increase their ARV markets every time ARVs become part of these seminars in “medical education” or in “professional development.”
        3. International “agencies” promoting the export business of ARV drugs and influencing the health care sector of South Africa

          Beside the drug companies themselves, the “Foundation for Professional Development” in South Africa is being heavily sponsored by organizations many of which function as promoters of pharmaceutical drugs under the cover of education, research or even charitable goals. This deceptive “scheme” of drug companies to promote their merchandise through “third parties” is being described in detail in Dr Angell’s book in the chapters of “Marketing Masquerading as Education” and “Marketing Masquerading as Research.”

          The following organizations are listed as sponsors of the South African ”Foundation for Professional Development:”
          1. “Afrox Health Care” is a particularly good example for the multiple layers of interests that make it often difficult to trace back to the real stakeholders. “Afrox”, a South African company belongs to the “BOC” group, which has recently been acquired by the German multinational corporation, “Linde AG.” Chairman of the supervisory board of “Linde AG” is Manfred Schneider, an influential corporate executive, who is – at the same time – Chairman of the supervisory board of the German pharmaceutical multinational “Bayer.” This chain of ownerships provides options for direct and indirect influence of “Bayer’s” drug business on the “South African Medical Association” (Annexure ‘Afrox’).
          2. The European Union
            The decisive political body of the European Union (EU), its cabinet, is the “European Commission”. The following facts about this Commission are relevant in this context:
            1. The members of the “EU Commission” were not elected in a democratic process but were appointed as political stakeholders with close ties to corporate interests. Largely outside any democratic control they manage these interests across the European continent and beyond. A case in point was the previous EU commissioner Fritz Bolkestein, who had been a prominent board member of the pharmaceutical multinational Merck (Annexure ‘Bolkestein’).
            2. Under the umbrella of “charity” and “help for the poor”, the “EU Commission” spends – without any democratic control – billions of Rands to promote pharmaceutical drugs across Africa and other developing regions.
            3. Since these EU billions are essentially allocated for financing the import of ARVs and other patented drugs to Africa mainly from European-based pharmaceutical companies, this entire scheme represents a “subsidy programme” for European drug manufacturers – paid for by the people of Europe in form of taxes.
            4. Moreover, in case of the promotion of toxic ARVs, the people of Europe – unknowingly – are financing the expansion of diseases and of pharmaceutical markets at the expense of the health and lives of millions of people in Africa and beyond.
          3. International AIDS Society ( Sweden ).
            Another organization that fits the description of “Marketing masquerading as research” is the “International AIDS Society (IAS)” based in Sweden . The mission of this organization is to “Accelerate ... HIV research ... with a particular focus on the role and responsibilities of industry as sponsors.” Towards this end the “IAS” set up an “Industry Liaison Forum (ILF)” with the specific goal to promote scientific and financial commitment from pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies in low income countries (Annexure ‘International AIDS Society’).
          4. Ministry of Health ( Lesotho ).
            The government of Lesotho has entered into a partnership with pharmaceutical multinational “Bristol Meyer Squibb”. On the web site of the Lesotho Ministry of Health and Social Welfare this partnership is prominently featured. The Lesotho government web page reads: ”The ministry has initiated a process of establishing a Communicable Disease Complex at Bots abelo, which currently provides treatment to AIDS patients through provision of antiretrovirals.” One focus of “Bristol Meyer Squibb’s” activity is to “provide support to NGOs working in AIDS. The project duration is three years for which the total budget is 26.7 million.” NGOs are non-governmental organisations and lobby organisations that promote ARV drugs to the poor (Annexure ‘Ministry of Health Lesotho’).
          5. NIH ( USA )
            The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda , Maryland , are one of the largest financial resources in the field of medicine globally. The AIDS research conducted at this Institute and the grants provided by it are almost exclusively focused on patented ARV drugs. The undue influence of pharmaceutical companies on NIH researchers has been the object of several investigations ( Annexure ‘NIH Washington Post ).
          6. PEPFAR ( USA )
            The “Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)” is a scheme similar to the European Union’s AIDS drug subsidy programme. Initiated by US President George Bush, PEPFAR allocated US$ 15 billion of taxpayer money to pay for exports of ARV drugs manufactured primarily by US-based pharmaceutical multinationals. This multibillion-Rand subsidy programme for the US drug industry was sold to the people of America and Africa alike as a programme of “relief” and charity.

            The official web site of PEPFAR lists the South African “Foundation for Professional Development” as one of its “Prime Partners,” receiving $1.8 million or 12.8 million Rand in 2005 alone (Annexure ‘PEPFAR’).
          7. USAID ( USA )
            This US-based organization co-sponsored by the US government is a primary agency by which US drug companies expand their global markets. The official web site of USAID specifies Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drug company, as one of its Public-Private Partnerships:

            “Pfizer Global Health Fellows. USAID works behind the scenes to establish assignments for Pfizer’s “Global Health Fellows Program,” which loans personnel worldwide to NGOs and ministries of health for the “President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.” Along with healthcare personnel, Pfizer loans financial and organizational management experts who support partner NGOs and local ministries in strengthening health systems. As a result of Pfizer loaning a fellow with expertise in financial management, the “Mothers to Mothers to Be“ (M2M2B) in Cape Town , South Africa , was able to open 15 new sites and is planning 17 more.” (Annexure ‘USAID’).

            A similar programme promoting toxic ARVs to pregnant women and unborn babies is referred to in the affidavit of Martha Darter (MSF), one of the witnesses in the Application.
        4. The implications of the dependency of SAMA executives from companies and “agencies” promoting ARV drugs

          The above connections reveal important connections between the globally operating pharmaceutical investment business, and the health care sector in South Africa . They are:
          1. Pharmaceutical multinational companies - in particular the manufacturers of ARV drugs - invest hundreds of millions of Rands to promote their merchandise in South Africa and throughout the developing world.
          2. Important targets of these investment interests are the professional organizations within the health care sector in each country, such as the “South African Medical Association.”
          3. In order to escape public scrutiny, these investments are generally not made to professional organizations like SAMA directly, rather than to so-called intermediary “Foundations” that appear as a non-profit organizations. Under the umbrella of “education,” “professional training,” “research” and other socially acceptable goals these “Foundations” serve as vehicles to promote the merchandise of its sponsors, namely patented ARV drugs. The “disguise” of pharmaceutical drug promotion as “education” is a pervasive global marketing scheme used by pharmaceutical multinationals and correctly characterized as “Marketing Masquerading as Education” by Dr Angell (Annexure ‘Angell’).
          4. To make sure that these ARV promoting “Foundations” are serving the interests of their sponsors, they maintain close ties with the professional organizations – often through selected individuals. A case in point is the intimate connection between the ARV promoting “Foundation for Professional Development” and the “South African Medical Association.” The alignment of the goals of both “organizations” is assured by the fact that the Chairman of the ARV promoting “Foundation,” Dr Stulting, sits also on the Board of Directors of SAMA. Vice versa, the Chairman of SAMA, Dr Letlape, sits on the Board of the pharmaceutically sponsored “Foundation for Professional Development.”
          5. Through this ruse, the globally operating pharmaceutical interests – namely the promoters of toxic ARV drugs – are directly influencing medical education and training in South Africa and affect the decision taking of tens of thousands of doctors and other health professionals in the country.
          6. The great majority of general practitioners, family doctors and other health professionals responsible for providing primary health care in the country are unaware of this commercial impact of pharmaceutical interests on their profession. These health professionals faithfully rely on the recommendations of the leadership of professional organizations like SAMA unaware of any bias.
          7. Most significantly, this “alignment of interests” between the pharmaceutical investment business and the SAMA leadership is depriving tens of thousands of doctors and other health professionals in South Africa of objective medical and scientific information – including science-based natural health – to benefit their patients and to help control AIDS and other diseases.
          8. These ruses have been designed and implemented by the pharmaceutical multinationals all over the world. Due to their deceptive nature they are equally hard to recognize for, professionals and the public alike. It takes extraordinary circumstances – such as this lawsuit – to reveal these mechanisms and thereby help to abolish them.

      In the context of this Application it is particularly significant that, while most of the SAMA executives backing this Application have a track record in pharmaceutically oriented medicine – some of them even with vested interests – the accessible public records do not show any research or publication in the field of nutritional or traditional medicine for any of them.

      This is particularly remarkable since paragraph 4.5 of the “Objects of Association” of the South African Medical Organisation – incorporated in 1973 under Section 21 of the Companies Act, Reg No 1927/000136/08 – lists as a specific SAMA goal: ”To promote involvement in medical education, research, …. understanding of alternative practices, e.g. traditional healing.“ (Annexure ‘SAMA’).

      The question is justified: On the basis of which qualifications or expertise did these SAMA executives support this Application aimed at discrediting science-based natural health approaches to the AIDS epidemic?