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Healthcare Health counselling at work is a growing trend.


ne of South Africa’s most innovative and successful manufacturing companies signalled in 2018 that its growth path is continuing. Aspen Pharmacare sells medicines and products in 150 countries from 25 manufacturing plants at 17 sites. In 2017, revenue was R41.2-billion. The opening in May 2018 of a R1-billion specialised product facility in Port Elizabeth will add 500 jobs to the existing complement of 2 000 staff members. The new plant will make products for chronic conditions, a new departure for the company which until now has focussed on generics. Annual production is planned of about 3.6-billion tablets. South Africa has one of the world’s biggest HIV/Aids programmes. The National Department of Health’s Centralised Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution programme aims to reach six-million patients on treatment by 2021: it is currently serving 4.4-million patients. In mid-2018, Pharmacy Direct, an Afrocentric business, spent R100-million on upgrading a warehouse for distributing medicines to state patients. This business is likely to grow if the state goes ahead with plans for National Health Insurance. The NHI intends to create a single fund that will buy services on behalf of all South Africans. South Africa’s pharmaceutical sector is worth approximately R20-billion annually. Although there are more than 200 pharmaceutical firms in the country, large companies dominate, with Aspen (34%) and Adcock Ingram (25%) the key players, followed by Sanofi, Pharmaplan and Cipla Medpro. A number of large pharmaceutical firms have made significant investments. The National Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NAPM) has re-branded as Generic

ONLINE RESOURCES Generic and Biosimilar Medicines of Southern Africa: National Health Insurance: Innovative Pharmaceutical Association South Africa: South African Medical Research Council: South African Medical Technology Industry Association:



SECTOR INSIGHT National Health Insurance could be a game changer. and Biosimilar Medicines of Southern Africa. A new field opened up in the pharmaceutical industry when the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) gave the go-ahead for the production of a biosimilar drug in July 2018, the first time this has been allowed in South Africa. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries became the first company to win a licence with its version of Amgen’s filgrastim, a white blood cell booster. Taking health education and counselling into communities and the workplace is a trend that is growing. A focus on prevention, risk assessments and profiling assists people in avoiding illness or managing their health. A cheap plastic heart valve, research on radiation treatment of cancer using Gold Nano particles and posture support wheelchairs and positioning devices that allow greater independence and participation of disabled people – these are some of the inventions and innovations coming out of the Western Cape health research and manufacturing sector where provincial and national funding is available for innovation.

South African Business 2019  

South African Business 2018 is a trade and investment journal for public and private entities either based in South Africa or looking to tra...

South African Business 2019  

South African Business 2018 is a trade and investment journal for public and private entities either based in South Africa or looking to tra...