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More Delays in Bayer and Clicks Case Leaving Medication Access in Limbo



The ruling in an ongoing court case between Bayer and Clicks, which has significant implications for medication affordability, remains unresolved as Judge Colleen Collis has failed to deliver her judgment more than a year after the case was heard. This delay has left patients like June Bellamy and her 83-year-old mother in a difficult situation as reported by All Africa.

Bellamy’s mother, who contracted Covid-19 and was diagnosed with heart disease, requires blood-thinning medication containing rivaroxaban. However, due to the court case, they were unable to access the cheaper generic version of the medication, resulting in a financial burden of R1,100 per month. Bellamy, who is unemployed, struggles to afford the cost.

The case revolves around the extension of Bayer’s patent on rivaroxaban, a blood-thinning medication, from December 2020 to January 2026. The extension has sparked controversy as it limits competition and access to more affordable generic versions of the drug. After the initial patent expired, two pharmaceutical companies, Austell and Dr Reddy’s, launched generic versions of rivaroxaban, but they were later interdicted from selling their products in South Africa. Although Dis-Chem and Alpha Pharm settled with Bayer, Clicks refused to settle and opposed the interdict.

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Judge Collis reserved judgment in April 2022 after an urgent hearing, but the delay in delivering the ruling has raised concerns. It is highly unusual for a judge to take such a long time, especially for an urgent matter. Judicial norms and standards state that non-urgent judgments should be handed down within three months. Requests for an updated list of late judgments from the judiciary have been met with silence.


The implications of this case extend beyond the immediate situation faced by patients like Bellamy and her mother. The outcome will affect medication affordability and access for many individuals relying on rivaroxaban and other patented drugs. As of now, the judgment remains pending, leaving patients and the public in a state of uncertainty.


2000: Bayer obtains a patent for rivaroxaban (expires December 2020).
2007: Bayer obtains a patent for once-daily dosing of rivaroxaban (expires January 2026).
2020, December: Initial patent expires.
2021, January: Austell launches Rezalto, a generic version of rivaroxaban.
2021, April 1: Dr Reddy’s launches Rivaxored, another generic version of rivaroxaban.
2021, May: Bayer obtains interdicts against Austell, preventing the sale of Rezalto.
2021, December: Bayer obtains interim interdict against Dr Reddy’s, but pharmacies can still sell existing stock.
2022, January: Bayer files an urgent application to interdict three pharmacy groups, with Dis-Chem and Alpha Pharm settling.
2022, March 15: Bayer obtains an urgent interim interdict against Clicks.
2022, April: Judge Collis hears the case between Bayer and Clicks and reserves judgment.
2023, May: Judge Collis has not yet handed down the judgment.


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